Protesters in Ferguson, Mo., no longer need to keep moving if told to do so by police. A Missouri federal judge found the “five-second rule” being utilized by police in Ferguson to be unconstitutional on Monday.
The five-second rule was used on peaceful protestors who marched in the streets due to the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Adopted by St. Louis local law enforcement as far back as August 18th, officers were informed to tell protestors to keep moving within five seconds — or face arrest. Watch video of the police telling protestors to move below:
Judge Catherine D. Perry of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, stated in a preliminary injunction that “the practice of requiring peaceful demonstrators and others to walk, rather than stand still, violated the Constitution.”
She also states in the injunction that it is in no way attempting to restrict the power of law enforcement, but that it’s to prevent the police from overstepping their limits:
“Law enforcement must be able to use the full range of lawful means to control crowds and protest people and property from acts of violence and vandalism, including ordering a crowd to move or disperse if law enforcement officers believe the crowd is assembled for the purpose of violence or rioting. Nor does this order prevent authorities from restricting protesting in certain areas or making other reasonable restrictions on the protests’ time, place and manner. This injunction prevents only the enforcement of an ad hoc rule developed for the Ferguson protests that directed police officers, if they felt like it, to order peaceful, law-abiding protesters to keep moving rather than standing still.”
The decision is effective immediately.