Black Lives Matter protestors in Seattle took their wokeness to a new level on Monday when they filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, demanding the city provide them with "expensive protective gear." According to the Seattle Times, equipment includes "helmets, gas masks, protective clothing, goggles, gloves, boots, umbrellas and other gear they say are needed to fend off police pepper spray, less-lethal projectiles and other crowd-dispersal tools."
The protestors cited the Seattle Police Department "shooting toxic substances in the air, deploying projectiles at departing protesters, and tossing blast balls into close areas of protesters marching" as the reason the city should pay for protestors' protective equipment.
The argument is that protective equipment necessary to protest safely is expensive so the city should bear the cost. The plaintiffs said not having access to the equipment, particularly because they aren't in a position to afford it, prohibits them from practicing their First Amendment rights.
"Their noxious gases, 'blast balls,' chemical sprays, and projectile weapons rendered public street wielded by the community as a protest path into a war zone," the lawsuit stated. "Because protestors now must purchase expensive equipment to be assured that they will be able to protest safely, the indiscriminate use of weapons by SPD implicates equal protection."
The plaintiffs – Jessica Benton, Shelby Bryant, Anne Marie Cavanaugh, Alyssa Garrison, and Clare Thomas – were involved in a riot on June 25 and claim they were victims of "indiscriminate" police violence, KIRO-TV reported. Their goal is to have a judge order the city to stop using certain "less-lethal weapons to control and suppress demonstrations" and to pay for the costs associated with filing the lawsuit.