Armed Force Confirms It Looked for Availability of ‘Heat Ray’ System in DC – NPR

16September 2020

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A representative for Joint Forces Headquarters Command in Washington, D.C., confirmed to NPR that hours prior to federal police officers cleared a crowded park near the White House with smoke and tear gas on June 1, a military cops personnel officer asked if the D.C. National Guard had a type of “heat ray” weapon that may be released versus demonstrators in the nation's capital.

Col. Robert Phillips, a spokesperson for the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, or JFHQ-NCR, stated the inquiry was made “as a matter of due diligence and sensible military preparation.”

The command “asked informally about capabilities across the full-spectrum of non-lethal systems, to include the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) and Active Denial System (ADS),” Phillips informed NPR in a written statement. “JFHQ-NCR does not possess these systems, did not demand such systems, and no further action was taken as an outcome of the officer's E-Mail inquiry.”

This statement comes hours after NPR obtained and published written reactions to your house Committee on Natural Resources from Maj. Adam DeMarco of the D.C. National Guard, who revealed he had been copied on an email from the provost marshal of Joint Force Headquarters. The email said the leading military police officer in D.C. was looking for 2 things: a Long Range Acoustic Device, a type of sound cannon known as an LRAD, and a device called the Active Denial System, or ADS.

The military established the ADS some 20 years back as a method to distribute crowds. There have been questions about whether it worked, or need to be deployed in the first place. It

utilizes millimeter wave technology basically to warm the skin of people targeted by its unnoticeable ray. In his written action, DeMarco, who has looked for whistleblower protection, estimated from an email he said was forwarded to him that originated from the provost marshal that checked out the “ADS can supply our troops an ability they presently do not have, the capability to reach out and engage potential adversaries at ranges well beyond little arms variety, and in a safe, reliable, and non-lethal way.”

The email went on to say that the ADS can direct a beam towards a group which “offers an experience of intense heat on the surface of the skin. The impact is frustrating, causing an instant ward off response by the targeted person.”

Last month, The New York Times reported that U.S. border officials weighed deploying the so-called heat ray against migrants a couple of weeks before the 2018 elections. The Times reported that Kirstjen Nielsen, then secretary of homeland security, told an assistant after the meeting “that she would not license the use of such a gadget, which it needs to never be brought up once again in her presence.”

Yet, according to DeMarco, it was something considered by the Defense Department's lead military cops officer the morning of June 1 after days of intense protests and looting in Washington. DeMarco said in his written comments that he reacted about a half hour later on that “the D.C. National Guard was not in belongings of either an LRAD or an ADS.”

Sound cannon

The 2nd piece of equipment DeMarco stated they requested was a type of sound cannon called an LRAD. NPR reported last week that by not utilizing one, authorities might have breached court-ordered guidelines that define how demonstrators in the country's capital are to be alerted before aggressive tactics are utilized against them.

Lawyers who helped compose the agreed-upon guidelines as part of a 2015 settlement arrangement stated federal cops are required to caution big crowds numerous times they require to disperse, and they need to do so loudly sufficient that the orders can be heard for blocks. That's how an LRAD would be used in this case. The LRAD produces a piercing noise and after that can broadcast a voice or a recording at a deafening level. The idea is to permit people at the back of a crowd to hear directions.

That notice did not appear to take place on June 1. Protesters who existed stated cops advanced through the crowd with little caution, shooting tear gas and smoke cylinders shortly prior to President Trump appeared outside for a photo in front of St. John's Episcopal Church.

“They have a commitment to notify that group that they remain in violation of the law and to give them the opportunity to abide by a legal order,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, who assisted write the settlement contract. In a class-action claim, she represented demonstrators, tourists and passersby who were jailed during a 2002 presentation against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.

Gregory Monahan, acting chief of U.S. Park Police, told lawmakers in July that his officers had actually complied with the rules in that agreement. “The protocol was followed,” he stated throughout sworn testimony prior to your home Committee on Natural Resources in July. “There were 3 cautions offered and they were given using a Long Range Acoustic Device; it's called an LRAD, that's what it represents, that was the gadget utilized.”

DeMarco said in his written answers to the committee that the National Guard “was not in belongings” of an LRAD that day.

“There is absolutely no proof that there were any officers who can affirm that they were in the farthest reaches of the crowd,” Verheyden-Hilliard stated. “There has to be documents that the notification was given multiple times, and there are expected to be recordings made that the notification was given. We wrote all these in particularly for this reason. In truth, unfortunately, it would appear in anticipation of what occurred in Lafayette Park.”

A U.S. Park Police representative informed NPR that Monahan “wait his testimony to the committee.” The official said since of ongoing litigation the U.S. Park Police could not comment even more.

NPR's Meg Anderson and Barbara Van Woerkom contributed to this report.Source: npr.org

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