FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Protesters recently released a list of 19 rules of engagement they want police to follow when patrolling protests.
Some of the rules call for preservation of human life, while others demand that authorities avoid using riot gear and not react to those who hit police with bottles. St. Louis County Police said they have agreed to some of the rules.
“I know they have discussed on a number of occasions their 19 requests. I think just at face value you can look at these and say we’re going to be on the same page as most of those,” said Sgt. Brian Schellman with St. Louis County Police.
A Washington University professor of criminology said an agreement to all of the rules would be dangerous.
“It would not only tie their (police) hands and create an unsafe situation for them, for the peaceful protesters, for residents in the area where the protests are occurring,” the professor said.
The co-chairmen of the Don’t Shoot Coalition said he does not believe it would put police at a disadvantage if violence erupted.
“We don’t assume ourselves if that’s going to be the case. There’s many large crowds in concerts and other public gatherings where they don’t come out in riot gear,” said Michael McPhearson.
Police did not say which rules they have agreed to. They did say they will arrest lawbreakers and hope to have peaceful, pleasant interactions with protesters.
“Police want to take a relaxed approach at this and if we don’t ever have to don riot gear, we won’t,” Schellman said.
Authorities said officers who will be working at demonstration sites have gone through hours of training on how to respect and uphold the protesters’ constitutional rights.