Stephen C. Webster – “Sound, ‘goo’ weapons will not target DNC protests”

http://rawstory.com//news/2008/Science_fiction_like_weapons_will_not_0724.html

Sound, ‘goo’ weapons will not target DNC protests

Stephen C. Webster | July 24, 2008

The City of Denver, responding to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union, has said it will not employ high tech, ’science fiction like’ weapons in its security operations during the Democratic National Convention.

Recently, RAW STORY reported that the political parties were spending portions of their respective $50 million budgets on weapons such as the ‘goo gun’ and a ’sonic ray gun’ — both previously used for crowd control in the streets of Iraq — as part of their “top secret” security measures.

On Wednesday, Rocky Mountain News reported that Denver officials, as part of an agreement to delay a public information lawsuit by the ACLU, have said no such weapons will be purchased to guard the DNC.

“This budget overview reaffirms to the public our goal to provide the most effective and comprehensive security possible while maintaining an event that is inclusive and enjoyable for all,” said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, as quoted by the Rocky Mountain News.

“Later, the city disclosed more details about its purchases, which currently are projected to come in at $18.2 million,” writes reporter Kevin Vaughan. “They will not include non-lethal weapons that use ’slime’ or ‘goo’ to immobilize protesters or that use microwaves or sonic waves to induce pain or other discomfort. Some convention watchers had alleged that the city might purchase a weapon that would cause people to defecate.”

In May, the ACLU sued the City of Denver after records requests for information on weapons purchases were denied.

“The Denver Mayor’s Office, which is coordinating security for the convention, claims that releasing the information could be harmful to public safety,” reports The Colorado Independent.

“‘It is a valid concern when you’re procuring equipment for security needs,’ Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, spokeswoman for Mayor John Hickenlooper, said. ‘To describe the details of that in advance poses an obvious risk that we’re not going to subject our community to, nor are we required to do so.’”

City officials say a full disclosure on weapons spending will be made available sometime after the convention.

However, it is confirmed that Denver police have purchased several hundred thousand dollars worth of ‘high-powered pepper ball rifles,’ reports CNN, as well as gas and biohazard detection equipment. Meanwhile, police in St. Paul, Minn., where the GOP convention is to be held, have requested Tasers for all officers.

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