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by Peter Moskos

September 25, 2009

"Sound Cannon" used in Pittsburgh

In the afternoon, protesters who tried to march toward the convention center where the gathering was being held encountered roaming squads of police officers carrying plastic shields and batons. The police fired a sound cannon that emitted shrill beeps, causing demonstrators to cover their ears and back up; then the police threw tear gas canisters that released clouds of white smoke and stun grenades that exploded with sharp flashes of light.

City officials said they believed it was the first time the sound cannon had been used for crowd control. “Other law enforcement agencies will be watching to see how it was used,” said Nate Harper, the Pittsburgh police chief. “It served its purpose well.”
That's from this story in the New York Times.

The Washington Times reported back in March, 2004:
The equipment, called a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, is a "nonlethal weapon" developed after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.
Now the Army and Marines have added this auditory-barrage dispenser to their arms ensemble. Troops in Fallujah, a center of insurgency west of Baghdad, and other areas of central Iraq in particular often deal with crowds in which lethal foes intermingle with civilians.


Anonymous said...

Free speech is totally dead!!!!!!

PCM said...

I don't know what to think.

People that are intent on destruction for destruction's sake need to be stopped. I don't want idiot anarchists destroying downtown Pittsburgh and more than I want them destroying my neighborhood.

But... (you just knew that was coming, didn't you?)

It sure looks like one good step away from the right to assemble and address grievances.

And it scares me any time equipment designed to defend our troops against terrorists abroad is used in domestic policing.

But if the alternative is letting people loot and destroy, I'm for it. If the alternative is letting people with unpopular views assemble and shout, I'm against it.

This is powerful stuff. Where do we draw the line?

Anonymous said...

We draw the line by letting innocent people who have their hearing damaged by this thing sue. If the state can show that the plaintiff was looting, then plaintiff loses. Otherwise, jackpot for the plaintiff and furloughs to fund the added insurance premiums. When these dynamics are made crystal clear, and impossible to mistake, the police will police themselves.

Anonymous said...

The police cannot police themselves.

Marc S. said...

Anon, how do you overcome the fact that you're suing the state in a state court run by a judge paid by the state? We can't even get cops who commit felonies off the street.

Anonymous said...

terrorist, anarchists, whatever happen 1st admendment right to free speech and assembly. this propaganda scare thrown at the sheeple to keep quiet. it is serving interests of corporations and financiers, period. wake up dummies.