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Ferguson, Mo., Police Begin Testing New ‘Less-Lethal’ Attachment for Guns

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posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:19 PM
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Ferguson, Mo., Police Begin Testing New ‘Less-Lethal’ Attachment for Guns


About a month after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the city’s assistant police chief, Al Eickhoff, took to Google and searched under the words “less lethal.”

Eickhoff, a 36-year veteran of Missouri police work, said he was looking for any new device, weapon or ammunition — any alternative to lethal force — that might have prevented a deadly result when Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson encountered each other in the noonday heat last August


----- Let me interrupt here to say "Three cheers for this guy!!!" -----





This week, five Ferguson police instructors will train to use the device; the department plans to introduce it to the entire force of 55 officers.


The device is called "The Alternative" and is described as an:


...odd-looking, blaze-orange device docked on a normal handgun barrel. When a bullet fired, it melded with an attached projectile the size of a ping-pong ball that flew with enough force to knock a person down, maybe break some ribs, but not kill him, the product’s makers said — even at close range.


"Less lethal" and "non-lethal" always sound good in theory, but nothing is foolproof, and may not work as well in practice.... at least not for an officer in a life-threatening situaton:


But others consider the product dangerous because officers must take time — if only a few seconds — to remove it from their belts and affix it to a service weapon. That “exposes police officers to greater risk” and “turns policy on its head...”


I'd like to hear what folks with more knowledge and experience with this kind of thing think about "The Alternative." I'd also welcome any other suggestions for better police practices -- i.e., practices and procedures that keep both officers and the public safer. Or thoughts about ways to better handle the aftermath of a police shooting. Or thoughts on how to encourage and promote "good" cops and weed out the bad. I'm afraid I don't have much to offer that hasn't been said a gazillion times by others.

I like dash cameras and personal cameras, which would help protect both the officer and the public, though they also have their limitations. But the cameras would have to be automatically activated somehow (to avoid an officer forgetting to turn it on, whether by an honest mistake or accidentally-on-purpose) and remotely recorded, so that the recording cannot be tampered with either. I want law enforcement to have the best defensive gear, including bulletproof vests and body armor and whatever else will protect them from life-threatening attacks.

The policing-for-profit must stop, including for-profit-prisons. Police shootings must be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted by independent agencies, avoiding conflicts of interest. Officers involved in police shooting should be tested for steroids immediately.

That's about all I've got..... except another link about "The Alternative" from Gizmodo: This Clip-on Handgun Attachment Makes Bullets Non-Lethal




posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:28 PM
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cool device..
the police and Sherriffs need seriously to get back to watching instead of stopping us for being suspicious...good start...

If they fail at that....it's probably only going to get more bull pushing his head against his corral friends...



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:28 PM
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Why don't they just use rubber bullets like when riots break out?
Instead they come up with a pong gun, lol!



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:31 PM
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"The Alternative" doesn't sound like a practical alternative. I agree with the assessment that the added time to affix the device to a firearm could be the difference between life and death. Also this appears to be a one use thing when we know police are not trained to fire only once.

I applaud individuals who are looking for non lethal alternatives but I don't think this is it.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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There are plenty of non-lethal options available already. What we need is a dialogue, a discussion in which officers and the people take a different approach.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:38 PM
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Have they looked into any studies that may indicate criminals might get a "comfort zone" attitude?

Like maybe being more daring because they may feel they are less likely to get shot with real bullets.




posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:40 PM
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originally posted by: GBP/JPY
cool device...good start...If they fail at that....it's probably only going to get more bull pushing his head against his corral friends...


Yes, it is a good start. At least in terms of a good faith effort, which I think all sides need to demonstrate, since at least a few on all sides have given reasons not to be trusted.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:45 PM
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originally posted by: proob4
Why don't they just use rubber bullets like when riots break out?


I really don't know! But I had the same thought. Perhaps because rubber bullets just aren't enough sometimes for those hellbent on killing the officer and a weapon to do so? Nothing is foolproof.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:49 PM
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originally posted by: FraggleRock
Also this appears to be a one use thing when we know police are not trained to fire only once.


I think that's part of the problem...


I applaud individuals who are looking for non lethal alternatives but I don't think this is it.


Me too. I didn't see any advantages to this over other non-lethal devices, but I don't know much about this stuff, so I figure someone might very well know better than me!



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:57 PM
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originally posted by: introvert
There are plenty of non-lethal options available already. What we need is a dialogue, a discussion in which officers and the people take a different approach.


I'd love to see that happen! But everyone needs a new attitude and a new approach. I've been very disturbed by much of the talk I've heard from police unions, too much of which is more indicative of a protection racket than police for protecting the community. But there's plenty of blame and criticism to go around. Everyone needs to ask themselves, "What can I do to be part of the solution? How can I approach this with a productive and proactive attitude?"



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 10:03 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen
Have they looked into any studies that may indicate criminals might get a "comfort zone" attitude?

Like maybe being more daring because they may feel they are less likely to get shot with real bullets.



I just googled "studies + nonlethal police force + "comfort zone" " and nothing came up. But I can see where that could happen. And if the bad guy has a gun with real bullets, the odds are way too high against the cop. When seconds count, the officer doesn't have time to switch weapons.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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You should never mix a less lethal option with a lethal option.

In my opinion this device is a horrible idea.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

i applaud this.
but realistically, a gun and a bullet are designed to do one thing and one thing only. [you can fill in the blanks with ideals]


a gun is status quo, period. doesnt matter how you spin it, having a gun or even holding one does something to the brain, a feeling if you will.
and there are those who use this feeling to boost their esteem.

from the video, that device stops one bullet, not a clip. if someone carries a gun, they will justify using it at some point in time, its fundamental to the need to carry a gun in the first place.

this is the equivalent to a band aid, not a cure



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 10:40 PM
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originally posted by: TorqueyThePig
You should never mix a less lethal option with a lethal option.


Okay... but why is that? For the best interests of both the public and the officer, we need to make lethal force the last resort, so attempts to use non-lethal force before lethal force is important. How can we decrease lethal force as the first resort?



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 11:05 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Turning a lethal weapon into a less lethal weapon is not the answer to your question.

For one, less lethal doesn't mean non-lethal. It means "less likely to kill a person than a bullet. Probably."

Two, officers already have multiple options for both less and non lethal devices.

Three, this requires an officer to stop paying attention to the threat that he's confronted with because now he or she is screwing around with their sidearm.

Something like this would be, theoretically, useful in a situation where a beanbag round is called for. And everybody will applaud this little gadget right up until the first time it kills somebody. Then the screams will begin anew.

The answer to your question is better training, more training, coupled with better decision making and judgement in the comparatively small number of incidents where lethal force was used without justification.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 11:09 PM
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originally posted by: introvert
There are plenty of non-lethal options available already. What we need is a dialogue, a discussion in which officers and the people take a different approach.


Ya this will still be a decision made to use it, they already have plenty of those the decision just seems to be made to not use them.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 11:10 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Because it leads to the "I thought I had the less lethal attachment on" and pow some one is dead.

I agree with Torquey, horrible idea.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 11:52 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

My first thought is, in 2015, a person searches on google for a weapons, ammunition and using "less lethal".

Shouldn't he be on a list? Cop or not?

I had no idea that the business of law enforcement was a hobby most of the time.. Especially with the eagerness contained within the words "Maybe break a few ribs" -- we're talking people, who have not yet been proven guilty of any crime, being treated less than human at all. "might break a rib, lose a limb, but you're still going to be a tax file number, err I mean, alive."

I'm all for way to find less lethal means of controlling or subduing people in the course of dealing with crimes. I'm not stupid enough to say we can just let perps decant without any pursuit or if they are likely to commit further violence or harm other/themselves, then force is needed. I get that.

It's the way this is brought about. I expect things like this, to be done by the book ,officially, based on a team effort of all involved, and not some bloke decideding fancy orange ping pong ball bullets is a good way to hurt people.

idk.. seems a bit redundant to me. "We have bullets. but lets make them worthless." kinda defeats having a gun at all...

oh well, kudos, if it saves lives at least. for want of a better term, the better of two evils..


eta - I swear the word decant means to escape also. Iused to listen to the old police scanner here before they went digital, and often it was reported that a suspect had decanted.

I cant see any reference to anything but wine. Bah, it means what I say it means.

edit on 12-9-2015 by sn0rch because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 06:43 AM
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Not a good idea.
Bad guy does something to make the officer draw his weapon
Officer tries to affix "less than lethal" gizmo to his weapon while pumped on adrenaline and shoots himself in the hand.
Bad guy wins.
With all that's going on in a situation where a weapon is needed, the last thing you want is more distractions and being forced to try to use fine motor control, which goes right out the window in a life or death scenario.



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 07:04 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

It's a start in the process at least, but should not be implemented.

The weapon needs to be a standalone alternative that just sits in another (yep another) holster and is neon green.

It needs to be something that they can unload several rounds with reasonable confidence that it won't kill the person, but 100% foolproof is not possible.

There has to be something small that could fire some kind of tranquilizer darts at close range. In most situations a 3/4 needle would penetrate any clothing. If they are armored, then it may be bullet time.

An officer could unload into a 'perceived' threat with the confidence that he has a 'wake-up' adrenaline (or whatever) shot handy as soon as they are cuffed and subdued, or EMT would be equipped for wake-up. It works on lions etc.

It isn't perfect, but I think it could save a lot of lives while adding minimal risk and equipment.

Regardless, it has to be small, lightweight, independent and well-marked of the primary weapon, and multi-round with no 'Hold on. Let me screw on this attachment'.

Most of these unnecessary deaths have been situations where there is time, space, and backup necessary to safely use and alternative. Sometimes they have already used a taser or been 'negotiating' for several minutes. If it is truly a situation where there isn't time or space to decide, you have to have the lethal alternative available.
edit on 13-9-2015 by Halfswede because: (no reason given)



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