Military Leaders Contemplated Using 'Heat Ray' Against DC Protesters

A protester is shrouded in tear gas in Lafayette Park Washington DC

A protester is shrouded in tear gas in Lafayette Park Washington DC

The email also mentioned a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which can be used for announcements or as a sonic weapon.

Col. Robert Phillips, a spokesperson for the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, or JFHQ-NCR, said the inquiry was made "as a matter of due diligence and prudent military planning".

The mechanism was created to disperse crowds or targets, without the use of lethal force, NPR reported.

Last month, The New York Times reported that us border officials weighed deploying the so-called heat ray against migrants a few weeks before the 2018 elections.

DeMarco noted that on June 1, a USA military police officer sent an email to the District of Columbia National Guard, asking if the unit had a Long Range Acoustic Device or a microwave-like weapon called the Active Denial System, which could make people feel like their skin is burning.

"ADS can provide our troops a capability they now 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 nonlethal manner, ".

Mr DeMarco, who also testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources as part of the panel's investigation into the clash, offered a starkly different picture, telling lawmakers that the police used "excessive" force on protesters. "The ADS can immediately compel an individual to cease threatening behavior...[and] provides a sensation of intense heat on the surface of the skin".

Officers requested a "heat ray" weapon for possible use against protesters in a park next to the White House in June, a National Guard major has said.

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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.

Outside the White House, in Lafayette Square, some of those forces used tear gas and stun grenades to clear a crowd of protesters so Mr Trump could walk through to pose for photographs with a Bible at a church damaged by a small fire the night before.

On that day, Trump had threatened to send active USA military troops to various cities across the United States to "solve" violent protests that grew out of Floyd's death five days earlier.

But DeMarco disputed that claim, testifying that no such device was "on-site at or near Lafayette Square on June 1", adding that the warnings were issued via a handheld microphone attached to a standard megaphone and that they were "barely audible" from his position 30 yards away - while the protesters were at least 50 yards away. NPR reported last week that by not using one, authorities may have violated court-ordered regulations that spell out how demonstrators in the nation's capital are to be warned before aggressive tactics are used against them.

Another point of contention being investigated regarding the June 1 attack against peaceful protesters is whether troops gave any kind of verbal warning before they started assaulting people.

Testifying before Congress in July, Gregory Monahan, the Park Police's acting chief, said that his officers acted with "tremendous restraint".

The whistleblower, Major Adam DeMarco, told a House of Representatives committee that he was copied into an email describing the use of the different weapons. We wrote all these in specifically for this reason.

What happened at Lafayette Square?

DeMarco told committee members. The official said because of ongoing litigation the U.S. Park Police couldn't comment further.

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