June 16, 2020

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

Complainant alleges that Austin police officers deployed sonic weapons that can cause permanent hearing damage 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 #: 2020-0955 June 16, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “As a member of this community, I vehemently implore you to demand that APD immediately discontinue the use of the LRAD 300x noise weapon and have it removed from its position atop their headquarters. At a distance of 30 meters (98ft.), this incredibly dangerous device can cause instantaneous, permanent hearing damage (120 dB SPL). This is the threshold of pain for most people. It was developed for use in war zones against enemy soldiers, and protesters are neither the enemy nor soldiers. Like many other "crowd control" weapons, these devices are NOT appropriate for use on civilians. We''ve already seen members of our community maimed by so-called "less lethal" weapons and munitions. APD takes such an extremely large and, frankly, unreasonable amount of taxpayer money, yet they seem unable to handle the most basic tasks without unnecessary violence. The police must always DE-ESCALATE in tense situations with protesters. The use of sonic devices capable of producing permanent hearing damage should be banned for any law enforcement or military personnel in Austin. Who exactly are Austin cops "serving & protecting" by deafening their neighbors, their children''s friends, and members of this community already dealing with oppression, repression, and police brutality. Why, when they have so little problem finding new ways to hurt us, are they allowed to keep the positions of authority they abuse? I steadfastly request to know who authorized this weapon of toture against our community and their justification for doing so, as I can see absolutely no possible excuse Here is a link to the exact specifications of the weapon including its sonic capabilities: https://genasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/LRAD_Datasheet_300X-RE.pdf Here is a link to the CDC''s warning on the sound levels that will cause disastrous damage to the ears of the citizens you are charged with protecting: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/what_noises_cause_hearing_loss.html”
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