Police in Newnan, Georgia had received close to a million dollars in military equipment from the Pentagon
This weekend, images of a heavily-armed law enforcement presence at a white supremacist rally and counter-protest in Newnan, Georgia again brought the issue of growing police militarization to the forefront. A review of records originally released as part of Shawn Musgrave’s project to track the Pentagon’s transfers of military equipment to local police departments through the infamous 1033 program show that not only did the NPD receive close to a million dollars in gear from the program but also non-lethal ordinance specifically intended for use as crowd control.
MuckRock has been filing requests around long range acoustic devices in an effort to learn about policies, usage, the variety of different devices, and the price tags involved with these high powered sound cannons. So far, we have managed to get some particularly illuminating material from Chicago, Houston, and the Massachusetts State Police.
Records released last week show D.C. Metropolitan Police Department employed a Long Range Acoustic Device during the Women’s March to “direct the crowd flow.” This is the latest evidence of an worrying trend in which police departments are increasingly using the incredibly powerful LRAD to deal with non-violent protests at the risk of causing permanent hearing loss.
Law enforcement and protesters alike will one day find themselves studying the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, maybe in a guide just like the one distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to North Dakota law enforcement in September.