Sep 17, 2020
Military police inquired about heat rays for use on White House protesters: report
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A senior military police officer in the Department of Defense for the D.C. region has questioned whether the National Guard had access to a military heat-ray mechanism that could have been used to disperse protesters outside the White House on June 1.
Documents obtained from the whistleblower, Maj. Adam DeMarco of the D.C. National Guard, show that the Provost Marshal of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region copied him on an email, inquiring about a long range acoustic device known as LRAD, as well as an Active Denial System (ADS), NPR reported.
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The ADS is a controversial device designed by the military 20 years ago that heats human skin once it comes into direct contact with it, making people immediately want to flee an area.
The mechanism was designed to disperse crowds or targets, without the use of lethal force, NPR reported.
"ADS can provide our troops a capability they currently do not have, the ability to reach out and engage potential adversaries at distances well beyond small arms range, and in a safe, effective, and non-lethal manner,” the Provost Marshal’s email said. “The ADS can immediately compel an individual to cease threatening behavior…[and] provides a sensation of intense heat on the surface of the skin.”
Demonstrators, who had gathered to protest the death of George Floyd, begin to run from tear gas used by police to clear the street near the White House in Washington, Monday, June 1, 2020. (Associated Press)
“The effect is overwhelming, causing an immediate repel response by the targeted individual,” the email reportedly added.
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DeMarco, who has sought whistleblower protection, said that "the D.C. National Guard was not in possession of either an LRAD or an ADS,” so neither were used against protesters.
The email that DeMarco was copied on, was sent out the same day that tear gas and smoke grenades were used on the protesters near the White House, prior to President Trump posing with a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church on 16th Street, the area that has since been named Black Lives Matter Plaza.
The recent protests were not the first time government officials have considered using the ADS device outside of military use.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly suggested using the devices to deter migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border during a meeting with then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, The New York Times reported.
But Nielsen "would not authorize the use of such a device," and stressed that "it should never be brought up again in her presence," an aide said, according to the Times.
Fox News could not immediately reach the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region for comment.
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Portand, Oregon, police make arrests at downtown rally
Shortly after 9 p.m., video on social media showed the officers tackling protesters and making arrests as the crowd of several hundred people yelled at them. Police told protesters to move back and get out of the street as they made the arrests.
Protesters chanted: “No good cops in a racist system!”
Earlier Saturday police said a right-wing rally and counter-protests largely dispersed without serious violence, though they are investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the face.
Separately, police said a criminal citation was issued after officials confiscated firearms, paintball guns, baseball bats and shields from a pick-up truck that was initially stopped for having obscured license plates as it left the rally.
Several hundred people, dozens of them wearing militarized body armor, gathered to support President Donald Trump and his “law and order” reelection campaign Saturday afternoon. The attendance was far fewer than the 10,000 organizers had expected after tensions boiled over nationwide following the decision not to charge officers in Louisville, Kentucky, for killing Breonna Taylor.
Organized by the Proud Boys, a group that has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the rally was described as a free speech event to support Trump and police and condemn anti-fascists and “violent gangs of rioting felons” in the streets.
Local and state elected officials condemned the event and rushed to shore up law enforcement ranks as left-wing groups organized several rallies to oppose the Proud Boys’ message. About 1,000 counter-protesters gathered at another park.
The events began at noon and were largely dispersed by 3 p.m.
The rally came as Portland has seen nearly nightly protests since the police killing of George Floyd in late May.
Ho reported from Seattle.
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