Police: Long Range Acoustic Devices — Sound Cannons

Discussion in 'Awareness & Fundraising' started by Frédéric, Nov 10, 2020.

    1. Frédéric

      Frédéric Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Marseille, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      ‘Sound Cannons’ Used on Protestors Can Cause Serious Hearing Loss or Damage

      Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs)—also called sound cannons—emit high-decibel sounds up to 162 dB SPL. That level is well above unsafe noise exposure for any amount of time and can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, vestibular damage, migraines, and other auditory damage. Originally developed for military use, many police forces currently use LRADs to disperse large crowds of protesters.

      ASHA sent a statement to media outlets yesterday expressing deep concern about the use of LRADs and safety of protestors’ hearing. An excerpt from the statement explains some of those concerns:

      Proponents say these devices, which have speech communication capability, are needed for purposes such as making public addresses to large or noisy crowds. Yet, the decibel level of speech presented through LRADs is unsafe, capable of causing temporary and permanent hearing loss for those in front of, behind, or on the periphery of the device. And the troubling fact remains: LRADs have been and can be easily set at extremely high decibel levels that can cause serious lasting harm. 

      Anyone attending protests or large public gatherings should wear hearing protection—earplugs or muffs—to reduce the high decibel noise created by LRADs.

      Some cities responded to reports of hearing damage and stopped police from using the devices. Successful lawsuits against police forces deploying LRADs are also leading to more cautious use. A case against the NYPD, for example, represents six people harmed by the use of LRAD at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2014. According to a 2018 article by Fast Company about the case, a federal court determined LRADs qualify as: “potentially, an instrument of excessive force.”

      Source with links: https://leader.pubs.asha.org/do/10.1044/2020-0612-sound-cannon-use/full/

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