Less-lethal Police Weapons
They are called “blunt impact projectiles” and the goal is to cause excruciating pain without killing. Police in more than 20 cities are testing it as a less-lethal alternative. With stun guns, tasers, and pepper spray causing deaths, Micron Products Inc., makes the new ammunition. It’s larger than rubber bullets, and has silicone heads that expand and flatten on impact, enhancing pain and incapacitating the person “shot.”
Sixteen law enforcement agencies in the United States, and six in Canada, have purchased the projectiles. They include SWAT units of Los Angeles County, the Sacramento California County Sheriff’s Department, and police departments in East Hartford, CT, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Los Alamos, NM.
Allen Ezer hired Micron to make the projectiles, which were developed by a ballistics engineering company in Israel. Ezer is executive vice president of Security Devices International, a defense technology company.
The projectiles do not penetrate the skin. Officers are trained to
shoot the projectiles at arms and legs. A person hit in the torso at close range in Canada suffered a large bruise but no lasting injury. No one has been shot in the head with the projectiles but the company acknowledges that doing so at close range could result in a deadly injury.
While it could subdue a suspect from a distance, it is not designed to be useful in sudden situations because it cannot be carried on the officers’ belt.
Other companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Bruzer Less Lethal International in Elkhart, Indiana, has made a 12-gauge, two-shot launcher pistol that can fire beanbags, pepper spray and gas pellets. Alternative Ballistics just outside of San Diego, CA, makes a gun attachment that slows down bullets, maintaining enough force to knock someone down but reducing the potential for death.
Brock Satter, of the Boston-based Mass Action Against Police Brutality, is critical of these less-lethal alternatives, stating;
“I’m for less militarization of the police, but the main problem and the main deterrent for these different incidents of police violence is holding the police accountable. I don’t think most of these situations are accidents. These are incidents of abuse of power and racism. To me, that’s not a problem you can solve just by using a different weapon.”
More on this at Yahoo News.