The Ferguson Police Department has access to an array of weapons. Some of them are controversial, like the LRAD Sound Cannon:
Developed by the LRAD corporation to broadcast messages and pain-inducing “deterrent” tones over long distances, LRAD devices come in various iterations that produce varying degrees of sound. They can be mounted to a vehicle or handheld. The device produces a sound that can be directed in a beam up to 30-degree wide, and the military-grade LRAD 2000X can transmit voice commands at up to 162dB up to 5.5 miles away.
The LRAD corporation says that anyone within a 100 meters of the device’s sound path will experience extreme pain. The version generally utilized by police department (the LRAD 500X) is designed to communicate at up to 2000 meters during ideal conditions. In a typical outdoor environment, the device can be heard for 650 meters. The 500x is also capable of short bursts of directed sound that cause severe headaches in anyone within a 300-meter range. Anyone within 15 meters of the device’s audio path can experience permanent hearing loss. LRAD claims the device is not a weapon, but a “directed-sound communication device.”
It’s not a weapon, but it can cause permanent hearing loss. Perhaps it was not created as a weapon. But its use in Ferguson, given the devastating effects this device can cause, definitely qualifies it as a weapon.
The images at this link include shots of the multiple weapons brought by the police in response to the protests in Ferguson.
The people of Ferguson were not the only ones the police used tear gas against. Apparently those news crews from Al-Jazeera America were a big threat.
Oh, and those rubber bullets that aren’t lethal? They can still do powerful damage. You would not want to get hit by one of them. A woman who was helping to calm down the crowd during one night of the protests was hit by a rubber bullet (image at the link). I sure as heck wouldn’t want to get hit by that.
The Ferguson Police Department was completely unjustified in deploying such weapons against the protesters. The protests were overwhelmingly peaceful and they were met with police forces and weapons one would expect in a war zone. No force should have been brought to bear against them in the first place bc they were not involved in the looting and rioting, and what little of that that occurred doesn’t require a SWAT team response. No, the response from the Ferguson PD treated the protesters as if their mere presence was a threat to public safety (an argument many are now making of the PD itself). A group of largely black people get together to protest the treatment by their police, to demand justice for Michael Brown, and express their anger at the handling of the investigation into Brown’s death…that’s totally a reason to bring in military grade weaponry. They’re just a bunch of uppity black people demanding justice and equality in a peaceful manner. They deserved their treatment by the Ferguson PD, amirite?