Military LRAD devices placed at town halls come under fire

As town halls unfolded across the country without incident, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore took it upon himself to place military equipment used in Iraq to repel terrorists, at two San Diego events. The device is also used by the U.S. Navy to repel terrorists from ships.

Gore, who is now under fire for his decision to place the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) at town hall events, went on record to explain his decision making.

At a Sheriff’s debate Gore was asked directly (by this writer) why he felt the need to place such heavy-handed piece of military equipment at two area town halls.

“The LRAD was purchased as a crowd dispersal unit,” Sheriff Gore explained. “It was held in reserve in both Susan Davis-D CA. and Darrell Issa-R CA/Duncan Hunter-R CA. events should there be any problems. We could use the LRAD in place of pepper spray.”

Although Gore said the LRAD was held in reserve, a photo taken at the town hall proves otherwise, said a Department of Defense Security Contractor source close to the story.

Gore continued to add that the devise is a non-lethal piece of equipment.

However that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sheriff candidate Jay LaSuer said, “I dispute this answer. It’s a very, very lethal weapon and they (LRAD) have no place in law enforcement.”

“Why would you use a LRAD when members of Congress invited people to talk about health care? The majority of the attendees are probably on Medicare. Are we going after terrorists on walkers now?” LaSuer said.

Spokesperson, Joe Kasper from Congressman Hunter’s office had this to say.

“We were not aware of any type of technology being used to monitor the event at which the Congressman appeared. Law enforcement always stands to benefit from more advanced equipment but, regardless of the system, these tools should be utilized in a manner that is both safe and responsible. More importantly, there are certain systems that should only be used when absolutely necessary, so I think it’s reasonable to question the practicality of this particular technology in this situation.”

Numerous calls made to Congresswoman Davis’s office went unreturned.

Further disputing the call to place military weaponry at town hall events came from a military insider who has been to Iraq and was a part of the testing of the LRAD in San Diego.

“Let me be real clear, this weapon can cause serious injury to the inner ear or result in death if utilized improperly within 30-feet. Furthermore, the LRAD requires explicit training so not to accidentally deploy the weapon which causes hearing loss as well as death,” the DOD source said.

“Also, a Sheriff deputy picture taken at one event showed the deputy who was operating the equipment wearing a uniform shirt of the Search and Rescue unit, indicating he may have been a non-paid volunteer, not a trained deputy,” according to a source.

To make matters worse, this source confirms Sheriff Gore was given a demonstration of the LRAD by the manufacturer, American Technology Corporation at an Emerging Technology conference and “Gore knew this device could be deadly.”

This directly disputes the point that Sheriff Gore made when he said, “This is a non-lethal type of device.”

Gore goes on to say that “it (LRAD) was the best choice of options for preventative measures.”

Another 27-year veteran of law enforcement disagrees and question’s Gore’s decision to buy the LRAD device.

“Somehow this device made its way into law enforcement. I was there when the $40,000 sale took place. It’s not an effective tool because it uses a very pointed-piercing noise that you could hear, but the guy next to you would not,” retired Sheriff Deputy Jim Duffy said. “I question why it (LRAD) would be at that event at all.”

The LRAD uses a concentrated sound wave or beam that causes a lot of ear pain, bleeding or death when pointed at a direct source. According to the manufacturer’s website “the directionality of the LRAD device reduces the risk of exposing nearby personnel or peripheral bystanders to harmful audio levels.” So why use this equipment for crowd control?

Looking to Gore’s past history with the FBI Ruby Ridge incident and 9/11 Commission report, LaSuer questions the current Sheriff’s decision making. “Gore deployed a weapon that we use against terrorists on American citizens- shame on him.”

When pressed about the need to use such a lethal device at public town halls Gore states, “It was placed there for reserve and that’s all I can say.”

Another lifetime law enforcement deputy, Bruce Ruff says, “The potential use of lethality is pure incompetence by Sheriff Gore.”

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner

or http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m9d11-San-Diego-Sheriff-deployed-military-crowd-control-device-at-Congressional-town-halls

About thekdreport

Investigative journalist

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