Man charged for throwing chemical container back at police during Huntsville protest

Man accused of throwing chemical container at police at Huntsville protest

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Huntsville Police Department says it is conducting multiple investigations into what happened following Wednesday night’s protest.

Police say the activity that happened after the permit expired was an unlawful assembly. The North Alabama Multi-Agency Crime Center and Criminal Investigations Center have been reviewing evidence and other material for these investigations.

On Friday, police arrested 52-year-old Patrick Joseph McCool on a disorderly conduct charge. Police say this charge is for acts that evening that involved picking up and throwing one of the chemical agent containers at police.

According to police, after a law enforcement agent deployed the chemical agent as trained, McCool ran towards the canister to intercept and throw it back.

“HPD personnel are trained to deploy the chemical agent in a safe and controlled manner so as not to injure or cause any further physical contact beyond the scope of it’s design,” Lt Michael Johnson said in a news release.

The release states:

"At the time, the chemical agent was activated and being used to assist in dispersing an unlawful assembly that had already displayed evidence of civil disobedience as well as dangers to public safety. This civil disobedience prior to the deployment included threats at police, throwing of objects, refusal to vacate a roadway for traffic flow, refusal to disperse under a lawful order, as well as other intelligence gathered throughout the course of the unlawful assembly.

HPD will always support the citizens right to peacefully protest but will hold those accountable that violate any other citizen’s constitutional rights."

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