The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-5 on August 17 to ban strobe lights from public demonstrations and protests.
Council member Maria Rodriguez introduced the ordinance last month, saying strobe lights have the potential to disorient or potentially blind police officers. Council member Joe Buscano supported the proposal. On 4 August, the resolution passed the City Council’s Public Safety Committee with only one dissenting vote. On August 17, council members Marquis Harris-Dawson, Nitya Raman, Mike Bonin, Curran Price and Mark Ridley-Thomas voted against the ordinance.
Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 55.07 currently bans laser pointers, baseball bats, pipes, weapons, and aerosol sprays at demonstrations. The proposal would add an amendment to an ordinance prohibiting strobe lights and stroboscopic lamps of any light source, colour, frequency, intensity, or lumen. city council meeting agenda.
The proposal also referred to the recent Echo Park performance and Hollywood, where protesters used lights, which “can cause seizures in individuals who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy, affecting police officers and protesters alike.”
“We are here to protect everyone in these free speech rallies and protests,” Buscano said, urging his colleagues at the meeting to support the ordinance. “This amendment [code] Not targeted for… people who follow the rules. This is for the people who come to our city, who protest and wreak havoc and cause hell and most importantly they use strobe lights against the officers who are there to protect their First Amendment rights. can use.
Those opposing the ordinance said the rule was too broad, and that “strobe lights” could include cell phones, flashlights and bike lights in the definition. Others said the rule’s ambiguity could be used during demonstrations in a “pretext” or “discriminatory” manner toward minorities.
Bonin said he often accidentally activates the “strobe light” setting on his iPhone when he tries to turn on a flashlight to use during some public performances. “The risk of having such an amendment that gives law enforcement yet another excuse to crack down on the practice of free speech … it could be used in a discriminatory way, in a selective enforcement way, in an excused way.”
Harris-Dawson said the concerns she had at the last committee meeting are still with her today. He said that many people in his district carry torches for safety.
“I know that a lot of my constituents who use public transportation keep them in their purses … and so if they’re going to protest from work, we need to make sure we haven’t any The policy is structured in a way that protects people who are not to hurt officers or protesters or anyone else,” Harris-Dawson said. “I completely agree that we should be attacked by light. There is a need to solve the problem of the people, whether you are an officer or someone else, but for that we have to create the necessary words to reach out to them.”
A caller at the meeting, who identified himself as Ritchie from the People’s City Council, a social justice organization, opposed the ban.
“I think it’s a joke that you guys are trying to ban flashlights,” he said. “The LAPD shows up in riot gear and with less lethality, and they wait until the middle of the night to kill us, and we can get it on camera when we bring out the flashlight… want to ban it.”
Councilmember Maria Rodriguez and the People’s City Council did not respond to a request for comment by press deadline.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times