WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Minneapolis police said they used chemical irritants to disperse protests over Jamar Clark’s death during the weekend.
"Chemical irritant was used when necessary to counter aggressive and approaching persons," Elder said on Tuesday. "We will use it again if it becomes necessary; we hope it is not necessary."
Activists said Clark was shot in the head while lying handcuffed on the ground and not resisting. The police claimed he was not handcuffed and tried to disarm an officer.
"The use of chemical irritants are an approved level of force," Elder explained, adding that other options are available, but are far less effective.
The United States has seen waves of protests in the past 18 months over a series of incidents in which police killed unarmed civilians. US police have killed at least 1,000 Americans in 2015.
In 1993, 165 countries including the United States signed the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibiting the production and use of chemical weapons and their precursors in any form.