they are popping up more and more in civilian settings. From Pittsburgh’s G20 protests in 2009, to Zuccotti Park protests during Occupy Wall Street in 2011, to the protests over Detroit’s water shut-off earlier this year, LRAD deployment has played either a practical, innocuous role as a loudspeaker like in Zuccotti Park, or a more malevolent role, as it has in recent months.
Earlier this summer in Ferguson, MO., when a shrill, piercing siren split the tense night air, demonstrators at first didn’t know what to make of the ear-splitting ringing. “What was THAT?” a VOX headline read. But it wasn’t necessarily surprising. The use of LRADs as a dispersal technique fit neatly into place in the larger trend of an absurdly militaristic police response to protests there that, in many ways, has since shaped the larger national conversation emerging around appropriate police responses both on the sidewalk and in the street.
Nevertheless, it is alarming that the tactics and tools that carry such malicious potential as permanent hearing loss are, on the one hand, available for local police departments, but also treated lightly enough that they can be used to chase off otherwise harmless rabble-rousers blocking Midtown traffic in the middle of the night.
via The Crazy New Weapon The Military Gave the Police to Disperse Protestors – attn:.