Federal police asked the National Guard whether they had a “heat ray” officers could use against protesters in Lafayette Square just hours before authorities removed demonstrators with chemical irritants, rubber bullets, and shields.
D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam DeMarco said he was copied on an email from the Provost Marshal of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region who was seeking two things: A device called the Active Denial System, or ADS and a Long-Range Acoustic Device, also known as the LRAD.
ADS is a military weapon designed to use short radio waves that produce a sensation of intense heat on the skin. The tool is also known as a “heat ray” or the pain ray. It was developed decades ago by the military and used as a dispersal tool. It has been largely abandoned due to its questionable effectiveness and ethical questions. It produces intense searing pain but no actual skin damage.
This is not the first time ADS has been brought up by the Trump administration. In 2018 just before the midterm elections, Trump was demanding extreme action against caravans heading to the U.S. border. Customs and Border Protection officials raised the idea of deploying the weapon to officials at the Department of Homeland Security, but the plan was shot down by Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of homeland security at the time.
DeMarco additionally wrote that the Provost Marshal requested a long-range acoustic device that is frequently used to disperse crowds. The LRAD releases a piercing noise that allows a broadcast voice or recording to then play at a deafening level, allowing people at the back of crowds to hear.
Complete details are at USA Today.