Two unions representing upper-ranking police officers in Boston filed a multipronged lawsuit in state court Monday that seeks to reverse a 2021 restriction of police use of non-lethal weapons at protests and scale back the authority of the city’s new police oversight office.

The suit also seeks to clarify whether a 1973 City Council ordinance mandating a minimum staffing requirement of 2,500 sworn BPD officers is enforceable, WGBH reports.

In a press release, the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation and the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society, accused the city council of “unlawful interference” with the department by legislating rather than negotiating the non-lethal weapons restriction over the bargaining table.

“The latest overstep by the City Council comes in the form of restricting the use of non-lethal tools of police officers including but not limited to the use of chemical agents such as pepper spray,” the release said, noting the council’s 2021 approval to restrict police use of tear gas and projectiles during protests.

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