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Madison Common Council votes against banning tear gas until further research is complete

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Protesters kick tear gas back at police during unrest in downtown Madison. Roman Olivas/photo
Photo courtesy Roman Olivas
Police are surrounded by tear gas during unrest in downtown Madison during 2020.

MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Common Council voted against a proposal that would have banned the Madison Police Department from using tear gas, pepper spray and sponge-projectile launchers.

During a meeting Tuesday night, the council also rejected another resolution that would have only banned tear gas starting in February and requested a study on other de-escalation styles.

Acting Chief of Police Vic Wahl was in attendance and talked about how similar votes in other cities, like Seattle, have impacted police departments.

"I think it hasn't worked well there, they've seen an increase in unrest and violence," he said. "Some really remarkable levels of violence and property damage, arsons, that sort of thing."

The Madison Common Council voted 16-3 to hold off on prohibiting tear gas until the study is finished.

The findings of the study are expected in January.

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