Military leaders asked about using heat ray on protesters outside White House: report

The military police officer with jurisdiction over the Washington, D.C., region inquired about whether the D.C. National Guard had access to a military heat ray for use against protesters in June, according to emails obtained by NPR.

Maj. Adam DeMarco of the D.C. National Guard told the House Ntural Resources Committee that the provost marshal of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region copied him on an email, seeking an Active Denial System (ADS).

The ADS is designed to heat human targets using millimeter wave technology, according to NPR. Both its effectiveness and the ethics of using it have been controversial since its development decades ago.

The provost marshal’s email stated that the “ADS can provide our troops a capability they currently do not have, the ability to reach out and engage potential adversaries at distances well beyond small arms range, and in a safe, effective, and non-lethal manner.”

The device “provides a sensation of intense heat on the surface of the skin. The effect is overwhelming, causing an immediate repel response by the targeted individual,” he added.

The provost marshal also requested a long-range acoustic device (LRAD), a sound cannon frequently used to disperse crowds.

Under a 2015 settlement, federal police are required to give large crowds multiple advance warnings to disperse, loudly enough to be heard from blocks away. The LRAD is typically used in such scenarios. The LRAD was not used on June 1, and protesters who were in Lafayette Square said police gave little to no warning.

DeMarco, who has since sought whistleblower protection, responded that “the D.C. National Guard was not in possession of either an LRAD or an ADS.”

The email chain was sent hours before officers deployed tear gas and smoke grenades against protesters in Lafayette Square. After the square was cleared, President Trump was photographed holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“On June 1st, a military police staff officer from the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region (JFHQ-NCR), as a matter of due diligence and prudent military planning, inquired informally about capabilities across the full-spectrum of non-lethal systems, to include the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) and Active Denial System (ADS),” Col. Robert Phillips, of Joint Forces Head Quarters- National Capital Region, told The Hill in a statement. “JFHQ-NCR does not possess these systems, did not request such systems, and no further action was taken as a result of the officer’s E-Mail query.”

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