Scotland votes to halt exports of tear gas, rubber bullets to US

U.S. & World

DENVER, CO – MAY 29: Police officers fire tear gas at protesters near the Colorado state capitol during a protest on May 29, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. This was the second day of protests in Denver, with more demonstrations planned for the weekend. Demonstrations are being held across the US after George Floyd died in police custody on May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The Scottish Parliament voted Thursday in favor of immediately suspending the export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot gear to the United States amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.

The vote came after George Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 while in police custody, sparking worldwide protests against racism and police violence.

The motion, passed by 52-0 votes with 11 abstentions, says the parliament “stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and considers that the UK government must immediately suspend all export licences for tear gas, rubber bullets and riot gear to the US,” reported The Independent, a British publication.

“To witness not only the murder but what can easily be described as a lynching of a black man at the hands of a police officer is an incident that has shocked the world,” said a letter signed last week by 166 MPs from the Labour party.

According to the Independent, Scottish government export records show the U.S. is one of the largest buyers of UK arms in the world, with approximately $7.53 billion worth of munitions sold to the U.S. since 2010, including over $1 billion in firearms, $22 million in less-lethal rounds such as rubber bullets and tear gas, and more than $2.5 million in riot shields.

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