Is Oakland Police Itching to use its LRAD Weapon..Is That Why We Keep hearing About Riots?

Dear Oakland leaders,

The Oakland Police Department has recently acquired a new crowd control device, known as an “LRAD” or Long Range Acoustic Device. An Alameda County procurement report, linked below, as well as the following KPIX news report, confirm this fact.

The LRAD is a very dangerous device that can cause permanent hearing loss. The Canadian Civil Liberties Union recently obtained an injunction against LRAD deployment in Toronto, Canada, after police threatened its use during the recent G-20 summit. See attached petition for some of the details.

The CCLU stated in paragraph 1 of its petition:

“Long Range Acoustic Devices are largely untested, “sub-lethal” devices capable of causing extreme pain and permanent hearing loss. Due to their weapon-like qualities, they are commonly referred to as “sonic cannons.” Originally developed for use on the high seas, and subsequently used in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, sonic cannons recently have been deployed in urban settings to disperse crowds and force compliance through pain and comfort.”

The CCLU provided numerous affidavits from medical professionals in obtaining an injunction against LRAD use, including an audiologist who confirmed that exposure to the intense noise generated by an LRAD can “cause damage to the cochlea of the inner ear which may not show up until years later. Disruption to the delicate mechanics of the inner ear can sometimes improve within a few hours or days, but most often there is not a complete recovery and there is permanent hearing loss.” See attached “Factum of the Moving Parties,” at par. 32.

OPD should not use such a dangerous and little-understood device on Oakland civilians. This device appears unfit for any use at all, much less against local residents exercising their First Amendment rights of expression and association.

All City Council members and members of the Mayor’s Office must demand that OPD discard any plans to utilize the LRAD.

Michael Siegel, Esq.
Siegel & Yee
(510) 839-1200 x207

LRAD Procurement link:
Canadian Civil Liberties Union petition, re: LRAD injunction:

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