Akron Police: Excessive force not found after use of pepper spray during recent protest

Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 4:44 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The City of Akron signed a joint temporary stipulated order in federal court on Friday, regarding police response to protests, according to a news release issued by the Mayor’s Office on Saturday.

City officials say there were no findings of excessive force by Akron officers as part of this court proceeding and the plaintiff withdrew the motion seeking a temporary restraining order.

The press release says law enforcement’s use of chemical irritants during the Copley Road incident on April 19th was consistent with the judge’s order.

“Yesterday’s agreement stipulates that Akron police officers cannot use chemical irritants on nonviolent protestors, which has never been our policy or practice, to begin with,” said Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett.

“The Police Department’s recent response on Wednesday, April 19 is in line with the agreement signed yesterday. The evidence supports the officer’s use of OC spray to disperse the crowd on Copley Rd. due to various objects being thrown at police officers. This department supports peaceful protest and will continue to do so,” said Police Chief Mylett.

The city agrees to continue to refrain from using chemical irritants on nonviolent demonstrators except in situations that involve violent activity and actions causing property damages, officials say.