Today, by mutual agreement of the attorneys representing Black Lives Matter and the City of Seattle, the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Richard Jones last Friday was converted into a preliminary injunction that will be in place until September 30th.
The preliminary injunction contains the same restrictions in the temporary restraining order (TRO), restricting the use of a range of crowd-control weapons “against persons peacefully engaging in protests or demonstrations.”
The TRO was a stop-gap measure for two weeks until arguments could be held on a preliminary injunction that would last until the end of the court case. Earlier this week, Judge Jones directed the two sides to confer and agree upon a schedule for those arguments. Instead, according to a spokesperson for City Attorney Pete Holmes, “both sides were fine with just continuing the TRO language as part of the injunction through at least September 30 with the possibility to extend, so no fighting briefs necessary.” The preliminary injunction specifies that the city does not admit wrongdoing or a violation of the law.
On Monday, the City Council approved a bill prohibiting SPD from owning, purchasing, renting, storing or using most crowd control weapons.
With the preliminary injunction now in place, the focus in the case will turn to preparing for a trial on the merits — or more likely, negotiating a settlement.
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