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Denver Police Stock Up on Protest-Quelling Pepper Guns


Summertime in an election year means convention cities are stocking up on confetti, balloons, and. . . pepper guns? Denver police hoping to prepare against disorder are stocking up on guns that fire a peppery powder instead of bullets in case they need to disperse crowds at the Democratic National Convention.

The department recently ordered 88 Mark IV launchers and projectiles at a cost "in the low six figures," spending a mere portion of the $50 million federal security grant. The hushed details of the budgeting have the American Civil Liberties Union filing a civil lawsuit alleging the city is violating the Colorado Open Records Act.

Denver authorities say releasing the information is "contrary to the public interest" because it could compromise important tactical information hampering security.

Some organizers of protest groups think police are amassing an arsenal of extended-range tasers and weapons that cripple people with high-intensity sound. The bullet balls ordered up are filled with powder "that's like a combination of cayenne pepper and baby powder" and can incapacitate a person like pepper spray.

Should Denver have to disclose how they're dishing out their security dough — or does that defeat the purpose? Do you expect violence or protests at the conventions?

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