CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – According to reports, Australian Capital Territory Policing had admitted to the use of a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) during freedom rallies held outside the Parliament House.
Said device has a controversial history when it has been used during protests, often coined as a “sonic weapon” meant to cause extreme discomfort by way of amplifying sound – yet ACT Policing claim to have not weaponized the device in Canberra.
LRAD devices can reportedly be used in one of two manners – one as a crowd control tool by way of weaponizing sounds, and the second reportedly being used as a loudspeaker to communicate with demonstrators – which ACT Policing has claimed they did the latter.
In a statement provided to The Epoch Times regarding the police response to freedom rallies occurring in Canberra, ACT Policing said LRADs were “deployed” in order to “convey voice messages” to demonstrators.
“ACT Policing has deployed several types of loudspeakers and amplification devices to quickly and effectively convey voice messages to large, and often loud, crowds of people during the recent protest activity in Canberra.”
While authorities confirmed that said device was only used as a means to administer “voice messages” to the crowd of demonstrators in Canberra, the mere presence of these devices caused reasonable concern due to their history as primarily being used as a sonic weapon.
The LRAD was produced in the early 2000s for the U.S. military, which a 2004 ABC News report detailed how the sound cannon bears crosshairs that can be used target the location of a sound, via a process the device’s inventor likened to how a lens can be used to magnify a beam of light.
Said devices had been used during protests and riots within the United States over the past decade, with reignited discussions and columns about LRADs amidst the onset of the George Floyd riots/protests that began playing out in late May and June of 2020.
According to an article from Pitchfork, direct exposure to the LRAD can result in one suffering tinnitus, vomiting, and even permanent hearing loss.
“Short-term exposure to loud noise like the LRAD’s deterrent tone may cause a sensation of stuffed or ringing ears, known as tinnitus, which can cease minutes after the exposure or last for days. Other sound injury symptoms include headaches, nausea, sweating, vertigo, and loss of balance. Signs of more serious injury include vomiting and mucus or blood from the ears. Exposure to acute loud sounds can tear eardrums and destroy hair cells in the cochlea, which causes permanent hearing loss.”
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