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L.A. Jails to Get Ray-Gun Technology

Posted on Aug 27, 2010
AP / Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

This $750,000 “Assault Intervention Device” struts its stuff at a recent rollout by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

Los Angeles jails may become the new frontier for science-fiction weaponry after the Sheriff’s Department unveiled plans to use heat-beam ray guns in one county jail, zapping unruly inmates with a beam that “makes them feel as though they are burning.”

The plan has caught the attention of the ACLU of Southern California, which sees it as “tantamount to torture.” —JCL


A device designed to control unruly inmates by blasting them with a beam of intense energy that causes a burning sensation is drawing heat from civil rights groups who fear it could cause serious injury and is “tantamount to torture.”

The mechanism, known as an “Assault Intervention Device,” is a stripped-down version of a military gadget that sends highly focused beams of energy at people and makes them feel as though they are burning. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department plans to install the device by Labor Day, making it the first time in the world the technology has been deployed in such a capacity.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California criticized Sheriff Lee Baca’s decision in a letter sent Thursday, saying that the technology amounts to a ray gun at a county jail. The 4-feet-tall weapon, which looks like a cross between a robot and a satellite radar, will be mounted on the ceiling and can swivel.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

No jail should have ray gun technology.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, August 29, 2010 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

The unconstitutional Drug War has seen to the lessening and our right ignoring of the Bill of Rights. This is just a continuation of our move away from a secular Republic to a theocratic-corporate empire.

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By PatrickHenry, August 29, 2010 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Another constitutional amendment to be ignored?

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By Jim Yell, August 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I warned people about this device when it was presented as an expermental device in an article previously. It is a continuation of the Bush/Cheney defamation of American Law. It is a torture device, but worse being presented like tasers as a non lethal device it will become readily availabe and like the taser, but worse it will be abused by people in authority. Don’t have time or inclination to negotiate with unhappy people, and civil disobediance Zap them, that will learn them

It is a short step from abusing people in prison to using it on the streets, even your front lawn. It is a device for oppression and torture. Bush/Cheney and anyone else promoting torture should be in jail, including the makers of this device.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 28, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

I said that if you read a little more closely my first paragraph. It is much harder to tell when someone is joking when the same thing can be and has been said in utmost seriousness.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 28, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment


Chill brother. I think I was joking.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 28, 2010 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Spoken like a true Regressive Rico Suave. The problem isn’t the anti-freedom laws or the unregulated prison complex and an out of control legal and policing system. Its the inmates housed in those torture houses not to rehabilitate but to make hardened recidivists? No not on my life or yours. The kind of Storm Trooper Law and Order you believe in helps to produce the largest prison population this side of China. Or are you just having a little fun?

Remember, the more laws you make the more criminals will be created.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 28, 2010 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

These ray guns and drones! I think we should get rid of both I tell ya.

Give the prison guards .38 revolvers with real lead hollow point bullets and let them shoot to kill, like the good old days- what’s all this wussy wound ‘em with rubber bullets, tasers and ray guns shit? Everybody knows that when you just stun someone it only pisses them off more.

And park the drones, break out the B-52s and carpet bomb the bastards! Hell, the bad guys try to kill as many of us at a time as they can. We should do the same thing! Assymetrical warfare my ass!

These new technologies are way too progressive.

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By purplewolf, August 28, 2010 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Yep! I figured out that Raytheon was behind this device before reading the whole article, and it was. Now that we have all these excess military devices made for the war in Iraq by Bush and Cheney’s buddies, we get to pay for them again by selling them to the prison systems in America.

I don’t believe that they penetrate the skin only 1/64 of an inch. And as for not causing permanent damage, three people still have burns from these machines. They are basically microwaves for cooking people. Microwaves are supposed to cook food from the inside outward, so by only penetrating the skin 1/64 inch deep, what happens to the insides of these people who are zapped with these devices? Bet if they did studies on the end results they are hidden and lied about the truth about the damage actually inflicted upon people.

Many people in the prison system do belong there, however, some people end up in prisons because of the accidental death of another in a car accident. I am not a sympathizer for inmates as I worked as a prison guard in in my working years. But this goes a little to far.

How long before they use it on the general population when the PTB decide they want more of what we have and use this as a way to make the sheeple comply? This is a way to achieve this. Once it is used inside the prisons, how soon before schools, public demonstrations, protests, any group of people gathering for meeting that the rich or certain parties don’t like or want to see the people come together for any reason that they might feel threatened by. Remember the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee anyone? Different times and different weapons-similar results-and don’t think they will stop with making the people scatter, this is the beginning of a more dangerous outcome for the 98%+ of the population not in the top 1%+ income tax-break bracket who will no doubt be protected by these machine and the paid for murder military goons like Blackwater.

Didn’t they also have some type of ray-gun in Soylent Green to control the population that was rioting?

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By Night-Gaunt, August 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Notice the mention of its adaption from a crowd control weapon? That’s one of them that will stop any crowds from harassing the rich and powerful. That is how they will control any of the few that will not like the new rules as they come down and want to protest. Hiding in buildings may not be enough either for it can penetrate many materials.

Such microwave technology will be used as a torture devices because it leaves no obvious physical injuries. The “agony booth” from Star Trek “Mirror Mirror” universe of a Terran Empire just may come true! With battle droids too. Danger—Danger—Danger. It’s real and now.

By Makes Sense, August 27 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A. You shouldn’t end up in jail in the first place.

A.You’re making the first mistake in this—-they are incarcerating many because how they configured the laws to put you in there in the first place. In our country there is, for now, selective totalitarian actions limited to people of a particular race, back ground and social standing. You sir sound like the kind of “law and order” types that are rampant in any authoritarian society.  If you are arrested you must be guilty or you wouldn’t be arrested. (Its on par with those who argue for a deities existence by using the Bible as support because it is in the Bible. Such circular reasoning is a logical fallacy employed often in such cases.

B. And if you do find yourself in jail and you act unruly then you’re an idiot and they should be allowed to do whatever they want with you.

B. Does that mean if they torture you and maltreat you that violates our Constitution/Bill of Rights does your self serving (for the state) “Makes Sense” still stand? With that psychology you would fit right in as long as you didn’t get caught in a glitch of theirs (see “Brazil” for an example)

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By Gmonst, August 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Nice justification there Makes Sense. 

I guess you are expecting that all prison guards will be good impartial judges of what constitutes unruly behavior and will never be overzealous or cruel. 

I guess you think that no one ever gets put in jail for anything but a good reason.

I guess you are not familiar with the Zimbardo prison experiments at Stanford which showed how quickly humans can become rather cruel when they have power over others.

Giving guards some laser beam to zap people seems like a big bad can of worms that will lead to cruel treatment of prisoners, and some lawsuits for the county.

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By Makes Sense, August 27, 2010 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A. You shouldn’t end up in jail in the first place.

B. And if you do find yourself in jail and you act unruly then you’re an idiot and they should be allowed to do whatever they want with you.

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By faith, August 27, 2010 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Has the entire world gone mad?  We are human beings.

Instead of spending millions on “ray gun” inventions for prisons, why not spend
approximately $25/per video surveillance cameras throughout the prisons.  If the
attacks on individuals stopped in prison (from whatever sources) I suspect the
fights and free for alls in prison was stop as well.

Too much objectivism and not enough realism in our society today. People will
physically suffer greatly with these inventions.  And please note that the the
U.S.Const VIII proclaims:  “ cruel and unusual punishment”.

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