VIDEO: Berkeley City Council votes 6-3 to allow police to use pepper spray in crowd setting against violent individuals

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BERKELEY (KRON) — The Berkeley City Council has voted 6-3 to allow police to use pepper spray in a crowd setting against violent individuals, according to KRON4’s Ella Sogomonian.

On Tuesday, citizens on both sides of the issue made their cases to the city council.

This comes after several clashes between groups this year and another possible angry confrontation coming up this week.

The most recent clash happened in August when nationalists tried to hold an anti-Marxist rally drew hundreds of black masked counter protesters.

Police say they trucked in shields and weapons, ignited smoke bombs and attacked some in the crowd.

The request comes right before a planned speech Thursday by right wing talk show host Ben Shapiro.

The City Council modified a 20-year ban on officers’ ability to use the weapon.

The City Council in 1997 banned the use of pepper spray for crowd control.

Berkeley police do carry small canisters of pepper spray for use on individual suspects.

But the police chief said officers need permission to use the bigger canisters if necessary during expected demonstrations Thursday and later this month.

Police are barred from using pepper spray to move crowds.

Stay with KRON4 for updates on this breaking news story on-air, online, and on the KRON4 app.

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