June 9, 2020

Formal complaint: Purpose and scope—Community policing and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that the Austin Police Department deployed sonic weapons that can cause permanent hearing damage to protesters. They call for the removal of these weapons. The Office of Police Oversight recommends that this allegation receive an A classification.

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The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT ICMS #: 2020-0930 June 9, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “APD appear to have deployed an LRAD (Long Range Acoustical Device, commonly known as a "sonic cannon") on their building. This weapon causes painful and permanent hearing damage. Like other "less lethal" munitions, these devices are NOT appropriate to use on protesting civilians. After all we’ve seen of protesters and bystanders being maimed by so-called "riot control" weapons, the police need to DE-ESCALATE. It would be quite easy for trigger-happy police to decide to unleash this weapon at the merest hint of citizen resistance, but just because it isn’t lethal does not mean it is a harmless alternative to direct physical violence. I’m calling on you to have the APD remove these weapons.

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