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

George Floyd Protests

EDINBURGH (NEXSTAR) – 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.

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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 U.S.,” 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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