Law enforcement officers in Ferguson, Mo., used tear gas extensively in the wake of the police-shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American. The conflict in Ferguson led one PolitiFact reader to ask us to check the accuracy of a social-media meme now circulating that addresses the legality of tear gas.
There is little sign that the convention’s signatories have any desire to reconcile the tear gas paradox. “There is certainly an argument to be made that the fundamental segregation of these two issues is inherently unreasonable,” said Finlay of the Stimson Center. “That said, this is very unlikely to change, as it is both a matter of treaty law as well as customary international law today. There is not much appetite among states to alter the status quo.”
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