Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–331.16. Use of riot gear and riot tactics at First Amendment assemblies.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on July 16, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*

(a)(1) No officers in riot gear may be deployed in response to a First Amendment assembly unless there is an immediate risk to officers of significant bodily injury. Any deployment of officers in riot gear:

(A) Shall be consistent with the District's policy on First Amendment assemblies; and

(B) May not be used as a tactic to disperse a First Amendment assembly.

(2) Following any deployment of officers in riot gear in response to a First Amendment assembly, the commander at the scene shall make a written report to the Chief of Police within 48 hours, and that report shall be available to the public.

(b)(1) Chemical irritants shall not be used by MPD to disperse a First Amendment assembly.

(2) The Mayor shall request that any federal law enforcement agency operating in the District refrain from the use of chemical irritants to disperse a First Amendment assembly.

(c)(1) Less-lethal projectiles shall not be used by MPD to disperse a First Amendment assembly.

(2) The Mayor shall request that any federal law enforcement agency operating in the District refrain from the use of less-lethal projectiles to disperse a First Amendment assembly.


(Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-352, § 116, 52 DCR 2296; Dec. 3, 2020, D.C. Law 23-151, § 121(b), 67 DCR 9920.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 121(b) of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-437, Oct. 28, 2020, 67 DCR 12993).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 121(b) of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-336, July 22, 2020, 67 DCR 9148).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 121(b) of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-151, Dec. 3, 2020, 67 DCR 9920).