Los Angeles City Council to Ban Strobe Lights from Public Demonstrations

The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-5 on Aug. 17 to move to ban strobe lights from public demonstrations and protests.   Councilmember Maria Rodriguez introduced the ordinance last month, saying strobe lights had the potential to disorient or potentially blind police officers. Councilmember Joe Buscaino seconded the motion. On Aug. 4, the motion passed the city council’s Public Safety Committee with only one dissenting vote. On Aug. 17, councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Nithya Raman, Mike Bonin, Curren Price, and Mark Ridley-Thomas voted against the ordinance.   Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 55.07 currently bans laser pointers, baseball bats, pipes, weapons, and aerosol sprays at demonstrations. This motion would add an amendment to the ordinance prohibiting strobe lights and stroboscopic lamps of any light source, color, frequency, intensity, or lumens, according to the city council meeting agenda.   The motion also cited recent demonstrations in Echo Park and Hollywood, where demonstrators used lights that “may cause seizures in persons that are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy, impacting police officers and demonstrators alike.”  …

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