New “Less-Lethal” Weapons Spread to Police

Friday, August 05, 2011
Assault Intervention Device (photo: Los Angeles Sheriff's Department)
Running amok in the streets is going to get a lot tougher if law enforcement picks up the latest crowd-control “toys” developed by the U.S. military.
One system under consideration by police is the Active Denial System (ADS), which operates like an open-air microwave oven. Get out of hand and zap! A focused beam of electromagnetic radiation heats skin to 130 degrees, forcing those targeted by ADS to run away, fast. In August 2010, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department began using just such a system, the Assault Intervention Device (AID), to suppress prisoners.
Another new technology is the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response rifle (PHaSR), which fires two low-power lasers designed to cause temporary blindness.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, police have Taser shotguns, giving them the ability to subdue someone up to 100 feet away (compared to conventional Tasers that have a range of only 20 feet).
For law enforcement looking for something a step-up from “calmative agents” like teargas or mace, there’s the Army’s XM1063 “non-lethal personnel suppression projectile”—an artillery shell that releases fentanyl, a synthetic opiate to dull the senses of rioters.
Or if the situation calls for harsher methods, police can try the Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio (MEDUSA), which uses microwave beams to cause shockwaves inside the skull, or the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which simply emits an ear-splitting siren that stops anyone in their tracks.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
California Jail Prepares to Use Unbearable Heat Weapon (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky)


Fred 11 years ago
did the author of this piece even do minimal fact checking? ads is not micorwave, it is millimeter wave. the effect described was accurate. phasr and medusa were discontinued years ago, having been found to be completely ineffective, or lethal. its chaeper to shoot people if we want to kill them. xm 1063 was discontinued, and was never a calmative. currently there are no calmatives being considered for non-lethal use. there are plenty of government activities that we should be parnoid about, without making stuff up or engaging in hyperbole about discontinued systems.

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