A long ranged acoustic device, commonly referred to as an LRAD, was used at around 1 in the morning on December 5th against those protesting the decision of the Grand Jury in Staten Island not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was shown on video choking Eric Garner until he passed out and later died. It was used near Columbus Circle, at 57 East and Madison Avenue.
The LRAD is a sonic weapon which, according to the corporation that made it, can cause extreme pain to anyone within a hundred meters of the sound path. The LRAD 500X is the typical model carried by law enforcement. That particular model can be heard up to 650 feet away and is also capable of direct, short bursts of sound which can cause severe headaches and even permanent hearing loss. The video above seems to show this particular method being used, although that cannot be confirmed.
The LRAD has reportedly been used in the United States since 2009 when it was deployed against G20 protesters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There have also been some reports of it being used on Occupy protesters in Oakland and NYC in 2011 and, most recently, in Ferguson, Missouri.
(Source for above: http://gizmodo.com/what-is-the-lrad-sound-cannon-5860592)
It is wonderful that those in the media want to talk about the NYPD’s supposed ‘restraint’ when it came to policing these protests in Manhattan but, eventually, we as a country are going to have to have a discussion about whether or not it is right and/or moral to use sonic weapons against predominantly peaceful protesters in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. If you were on the receiving end of a sonic weapon such as the one used in the aforementioned video, you may think twice about taking to the streets. Perhaps that is what the NYPD has in mind.