Las Vegas bans bags, backpacks at protests amid violence

National and World

The ordinance will be in place until July 31 but could be canceled before then

People shout slogans and hold placards, on June 1, 2020, in downtown Las Vegas, as they take part in a “Black lives matter” rally in response to the recent death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody. – Thousands of National Guard troops patrolled major US cities after five consecutive nights of protests over racism and police brutality that boiled over into arson and looting, sending shock waves through the country. The death Monday of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis ignited this latest wave of outrage in the US over law enforcement’s repeated use of lethal force against African Americans — this one like others before captured on cellphone video. (Photo by BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Protesters in Las Vegas are no longer allowed to wear backpacks, carry large purses or push strollers after a police officer was shot at a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to pass the emergency temporary ordinance banning many types of baggage at protests to prevent concealed weapons and other potentially dangerous items from entering demonstration crowds.

The ordinance will be in place until July 31 but could be canceled before then.

The ban was passed after demonstrations erupted across the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

Protests began in Las Vegas over the weekend, but the demonstration Monday turned violent when 29-year-old officer Shay Mikalonis was shot in the head as officers were breaking up a crowd, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Las Vegas Police Protective Association president Steve Grammas says Mikalonis underwent successful surgery Wednesday but was still in critical condition at University Medical Center.

In a separate incident, a man was fatally shot by officers after police say he pulled a gun near the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse on Monday, police said.

As a result of the violence, protesters are now prohibited from carrying coolers, briefcases, fanny packs, computer bags, camera bags or bringing strollers, carts or any bag that could be used to store objects used in violence, according to the ordinance. Exceptions include people who have devices for medical reasons and journalists carrying equipment.

Violators faces maximum fines of $1,000 and six months in jail.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman praised “the peaceful protestors — those who’ve come out every single night, every single afternoon during the day to march, hold their signs and work together as the family,” the Las Vegas Sun reported.

But protesters who turn violent are part of a “horrible, senseless group of people that continue to take and destroy things that aren’t theirs,” she said.

The county is working on a similar ordinance, saying that it would ban the same bags and carrying cases as the city if they are larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches (30.5 centimeters by 15 centimeters by 30.5 centimeters), spokesman Erik Pappa said, adding that clear bags would be acceptable regardless of size.

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