The cops’ new “communication tool” to deafen G20 protestors

The G20 security overlords, concerned that protestors at the summit will make too much noise—megaphones, rhyming chants, Rage Against the Machine, etc.—can relax. In preparation for the summit, the Toronto police force has purchased four new sound cannons that can shout down any mewling anarchist with a megaphone. And by “shout down,” we mean shoot sonic pain greater than that suffered by standing next to a jet taking off—loud enough to force even the most hardened and dreadlocked protestors to their vegan knees.

While we’re not anarchists, we can’t help but feel a tad wary of the fuzz’s exciting new crowd-control device. From the Star:

Originally designed for the U.S. Navy, LRADs can emit ear-blasting sounds so high in frequency they transcend normal thresholds of pain. While they are used everywhere from Iraq to the high seas for repelling pirates, LRADs are being increasingly employed as a crowd-control device.

At last year’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh, police used them on protestors before reportedly deploying tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

How kind. It’s nice to know that the cops have assigned a pain hierarchy to the senses: hearing (sound cannons); smell (tear gas); sight (stun grenades); and touch (rubber bullets). We can only imagine what’s in store for taste.

But perhaps the best part of today’s news is the ironic euphemism that police spokesperson Constable Wendy Drummond uses when stressing that the ear-shattering device will be used only as a “communication tool.”

• Toronto police get sound cannons for G20 [Toronto Star]LRAD sound cannons used on G20 protestors [Gizmodo]


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