When Cities Weaponize Sound

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If you were to walk at night along the waterfront in West Palm Beach, Florida, you might hear something strange: A playlist of annoyingly catchy children’s songs — including “Baby Shark” and “Raining Tacos” — blared on loop all night to deter homeless people from sleeping near an event center.

The Waterfront Lake Pavilion, a luxury venue doesn’t want rough sleepers on its patio, so the city’s parks and recreation department devised the sonic deterrent. Kathleen Walter, a spokeswoman for the city, said the music is played overnight to discourage “congregating at the building” and to “encourage people to seek safer, more appropriate shelter.”

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