Military whistleblower claims federal officials sought to use heat ray to disperse protesters in DC


A military whistleblower claimed federal officials sought to use controversial crowd control devices to disperse protesters outside the White House in June, including the usage of a heat ray. ~

In written responses to questions from a House committee, the national guard major Adam DeMarco said the defence department’s lead military police officer for the national capital region sent an email asking if the Washington DC national guard possessed a long-range acoustic device used to transmit loud noises, or an Active Denial System (ADS), the heat ray. DeMarco said he responded to the email saying that the guard was not in possession of either device. National Public Radio and the Washington Post first reported DeMarco’s testimony. ~

The Active Denial System was developed by the military and was unveiled to the public around 2007. The system, which emits a directed beam of energy that causes a burning heat sensation, was considered a non-lethal way to control crowds, particularly when it may be difficult to tell the enemy from innocent civilians in war zones. The Long Range Acoustic Device, also called a sound cannon, sends out loud messages or sounds and has been used by law enforcement to disperse crowds. The US military has, in recent years, ordered the LRAD for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command to be used by ships to hail or warn other vessels (MSN). ~

The US military has, in recent years, ordered the cannon for the navy’s Military Sealift Command to be used by ships to hail or warn other vessels. DeMarco testified in late July before the House natural resources committee, which is investigating the use of force against crowds in Lafayette Square. His remarks on the crowd-control devices came in response to follow-up questions from the committee. DeMarco’s lawyer sent his answers to the committee on 28 August; NPR posted the document online Wednesday. ~

The Trump administration has claimed vicious attacks by protesters led federal forces to turn on the large crowd on 1 June in the square in front of the White House. The forceful clearing of Lafayette Square, long one of the country’s most prominent venues for demonstrations, came minutes before Donald Trump arrived in the area, en route to a historic church nearby (The Guardian). ~


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