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Wed Jun 3, 2020, 09:09 PM

'Nonlethal' Anti-Protest Weapons Can Cause Serious Harm

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people have demonstrated against police brutality in dozens of cities across the United States over the past few days, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in law enforcement custody in Minneapolis on May 25. While many of the ongoing protests have been peaceful, videos shared on social media and in news reports have shown police using “crowd-control” weapons like pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets. The footage captures officers deploying the tools against demonstrators, journalists, bystanders, and at least one child, often unprovoked and without any prior warning. While similar weapons have been used by police around the world for decades, research shows that these “nonlethal” tools are not safe—and can be deadly.

“Calling tear gas and rubber bullets nonlethal weapons is flat-out wrong,” says Rohini J. Haar, an emergency medicine physician at the Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland and a lecturer at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health who has studied the use of crowd-control arms. “Like all weapons, their lethality depends on how they are used or misused. When you see that their use is so widespread, so prevalent, you will inevitably get fatalities and serious injuries.”

Over the last several days, numerous people have reported being injured by police using crowd-control weapons. In Seattle, police reportedly sprayed a child in the face with mace. In New York, a cop removed a young man’s protective face mask and pepper-sprayed him as he held his arms in the air. Police in cities including Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Dallas have used tear gas against protesters. And on Monday night, during peaceful protests outside the White House in Washington, demonstrators were also sprayed with tear gas to clear the area for President Donald Trump to take pictures in front of a church.

In many instances, law enforcement targeted members of the media. Freelance photographer Linda Tirado was shot in Minneapolis by what she believes was a rubber bullet, permanently blinding her in one eye. In Louisville, Kentucky, local reporter Kaitlin Rust shouted, “I’m getting shot! I’m getting shot!” on live television while a police officer targeted her and photojournalist James Dobson with what appeared to be rubber bullets or pepper balls, projectiles containing skin and eye irritants. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, a reporter for the California radio station KPCC, was shot in the neck by a rubber bullet during protests in Long Beach, California, causing bruising and bleeding. Photojournalist Andre Mercharles described to New York magazine what it was like to be shot by rubber bullets during protests in Minneapolis, calling it “100 times worse” than being hit by a baseball.


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Reply 'Nonlethal' Anti-Protest Weapons Can Cause Serious Harm (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jun 3 OP
Dial H For Hero Jun 3 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 09:48 PM

1. The proper term for them is 'less lethal' weapons.

Trivia: The 37mm launchers used by the police are perfectly legal for civilians to own, and aren't even considered to be firearms. Even the tear gas rounds they use are legal, though very hard to find if you're not law enforcement.

About twenty years ago I found a 1930's-era launcher in perfect condition for sale at a gun show for only $300 and picked it up on impulse. Shortly thereafter, I found someone selling a dozen rounds of CS and CN tear gas for it for only $25 each (I bought every one).

Sold the whole set ten years ago for a very healthy profit.

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