Protesters freaking out that Seattle PD now using ‘sound energy weapon’, so police just made it not a weapon

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SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Police Department has confirmed that it is now using a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) in protests and riots.

This new public address system used during riots in the Capitol Hill area of downtown Seattle is a sound energy weapon that has been recalibrated so it can’t give out “high-frequency warning tones.”

In a statement sent to the Capitol Hill Seattle (CHS) blog, the Seattle Police Department explained:

“The department recently purchased, commercially, an enhanced public announcement system to address crowd communication issues identified over the summer months. 

“The purchase of such a system was a recommendation of both the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of the Inspector General following complaints from protest groups that instructions provided by Seattle PD during previous demonstrations could not be heard due to the quality of previous public announcement systems the department had used.”

Seattle Police Department also confirmed that it will use the LRAD-450XL system “in crowd control, public safety/dispersal order situations where information is being broadcast to clear an area, and to provide clear instructions on avenues of egress.”

The SPD statement further related:

“The system can also be utilized in natural disasters and mass casualty events to broadcast critical public safety information, and in barricaded suspect/hostage situations where communication is critical.” 

Seattle police clarified that the LRAD-450XL system cannot be used as a sonic weapon:

“The department understands that concerns were previously raised with respect to certain functionalities of the device to emit high-frequency warning tones.

“The department worked with Seattle IT and the vendor to remove that functionality.

“The devices procured and which will be used to meet specific recommendations of OPA and the OIG function solely to amplify public announcements in the circumstances stated above.”

 

Genasys, the San Diego, California-based manufacturer, describes the LRAD 450XL as the “loudest, most intelligible acoustic hailing device (AHD) for its size and weight.”

During demonstrations Wednesday night, Seattle police used the LRAD system to warn protesters to disperse before they entered the demonstration area to make arrests.

Seattle police officers have their hands full during the weeks of rioting in the city with more than 120 officers leaving the police force since September and a city council working steadily to defund the department.

In a protest last week, one marcher carried a banner:

“Montgomery Bus Boycott: 381 days. Seattle BLM Protests: 150 days,” the banner read. ‘WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED.’”

The majority of the previous marches and protests have been in response to the George Floyd incident and an effort to defund Seattle police. 

Katie, one of the leaders of the regularly scheduled “Morning March,” explained the reason for the group’s continued protests:

“One percent [in cuts to the department] is not what we demanded, so we’re not going to stop.  The pressure needs to stay on in all lanes.”

Travonna Wiley, a leader with the “Black Action Coalition” that has regular marches on Fridays, also explained:

“The big thing we’ve achieved is community, education and relearning anti-racism. White supremacy is not a Black issue.  We need white people here to fix this issue.”

In June, thousands demonstrated in Capitol Hill near the East Precinct, and others marched throughout the city. That month, police left the precinct and protesters occupied the area calling it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) and, ultimately, the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).

Seattle continues to face a lawsuit from business owners who say the city failed to police the area or protect them from property damage and threats during the occupation.

No matter who is marching or for what specific cause, it doesn’t appear that Seattle police will see a reprieve anytime soon.

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Report: Thanks to defunding, Seattle police may not have enough officers to handle anticipated post-election anarchy

November 3, 2020

 

SEATTLE, WA – The movement to defund the Seattle Police Department, the loss of their remarkable police chief, months and months of occupation and protests in the “CHOP” area, and the recent resurgence of promised protests.

All of this likely has the Seattle Police Department caught short in their ability to handle the upcoming protests scheduled for election day and the days after.

Nearly 120 officers have left the police force since the end of September.  Most were patrol officers, and either retired or transferred to other agencies. 

Seattle now maintains only 1,200 officers that are deployable for contingencies, the lowest number since 1990, when the city’s population was 516,000. Now the population has grown to 783,000, not to mention the explosion of the surrounding suburban areas increasing the number of citizens routinely inside the city limits. 

Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz made a bold statement last week:

“You have to have close to about 1,400 to then have a reasonable number, which puts us to about 1,250 [or] 1,275 that are deployable.  So you really need about 1,400 people to have a much more reasonable staffing when it comes to having enough in patrol investigations and special operations.”

The alternative to having good staffing numbers is to work officers on twelve-hour shifts with no days off as long as is necessary.  It goes without saying that practice will cause stress and exhaustion, all while being critiqued and micro-managed – a formula made for failure and likely the departure of even more officers.

The direct blame for this manning problem sits squarely in the laps of the partisan city council.  The council voted for a 17 percent reduction in the police budget for next fiscal year and leaves officers with the attitude that the department must save money and “hope for the best.”

The King County Sheriff’s Department has been tasked to support the Seattle Police Department during a crisis, but Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht has a similar concern about staffing once their department would be thinned out to support the city:

“We have prepared for and will stand up a command post and support King County Elections if called upon to do so.  My worry is that we do not have enough deputies and officers if protests or rallies get out of hand.”

Other major cities have similar concerns as their city councils have voted to defund police to an extent – cities like Minneapolis, Dallas, Portland, New York City, and others have enacted measures that shadow Seattle’s process.

In fact, New York City has reduced the New York Police Department’s budget by one billion dollars, causing major components and specialty sections of the department to shut down.

As a result, business owners and citizens are boarding up their store fronts and homes – something never before seen in relation to an election.

Many city streets look more like prep for a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Those on the left are readily blaming Trump and his supporters for the fact that so many businesses are spending the money to board up and cover their windows.

However, the vast majority of those arrested for the several months-long rioting in big cities like Portland, New York, Seattle, etc. have been supporters of the far left.

Look familiar?  This is Lake Charles, Louisiana, preparing for Hurricane Delta after receiving Hurricane Laura.

A significant concern that most people would overlook is the direct impact police staffing has on public safety.  With officers spread thin and working long shifts, they’re not available for routine calls. This includes calls that are major like robberies, rapes, assaults, and traffic offenses like DUIs, and those involving drug use.

Just like when CHAZ/CHOP was in play, a normal police call from a citizen was likely to go without response, or at very best, a delayed response.

One would certainly hope that an election wouldn’t cause mass protests, riots, looting, and fires.  Our police are the front line of defense for citizens and businesses, and now they face a threat they’ve likely never seen.

Between losing manning numbers in the hundreds, trying to pick up the slack for the missing officers, the “insta-mobs” phenomenon, and city governments that not only provide little to no support, but are actively working to take even more resources from these departments, the next few months should be interesting.

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