Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Here's the Bizarre Weapon Cops Will Be Using to Prevent Another Ferguson

When citizens hit the streets of Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, to protest the deaths of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, two young black men who died at the hands of law enforcement, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to control the crowds. Now they have a new non-lethal tool: stink bombs, also known as malodorants. 

The weapon of choice in this case is called Skunk, and Defense One reports that a company called Mistral has been providing it to police departments feeling nervous about civil unrest.

How it works: Skunk is a yellow liquid made from baking soda, yeast and amino acids. The smell has been described as garbage, human waste, dirty socks, rotting meat and an open sewer. Mistral reps claim the smell can be removed from your body only with a "special soap."
 
There are a number of ways police can stink-bomb a protest or gathering. In 2008, the military drafted plans for an artillery shell that would explode in the air and carpet whole acres of land with a cluster of small, parachuting stink bombs. Skunk is much less sophisticated: Police can simply load it onto a truck and spray it as a mist from a hose.
 
Police tactics are growing more brutal: An increasing number of departments around the country have been arming themselves like the military as protest movements and civil unrest make local law enforcement officials nervous.
 

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