Weaponized noise as a tactic to control crowds

In light of recent protests and events, this article discusses many forms of “non-lethal” tactics to control crowds, including; tear gas and pepper spray, rubber bullets and blunt trauma, noise, and electric shocks.

Specifically, Dr. Neitzel was interviewed to talk about weaponized noise and it’s use to disperse crowds. Some common forms of weaponized noise in these settings are low flying helicopters and flash-bang grenades. Flash-bang grenades can reach a noise level of about 170 dB which can instantaneously result in damage to the hair cells in the inner ear and lead to eventual hearing loss. The risk of hearing loss increases with each exposure.

There is discussion in the field of study on non-lethal weapons as to whether it is proper to still call these tactics non-lethal. When they are used in an inappropriate manner or on populations with certain pre-existing conditions they can and have caused fatalities.


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