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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?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Sorry to get back so late (I actually had to WORK today!!). I apologize for the misspelling stephley. I meant to say nice, regarding Hypno's new avatar. :hugs: :beer: :morebeer:
stephley stephley 9 years
OH NO, how embarrassing! Thanks Lil and sorry Dave. I had just read something else that had naive spelled the same way Dave did and didn't even think. :oops:
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I think Dave meant to say nice.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well with respect to terrorists don't think for one minute that they don't already presume we have what we have in the way of ammunition. My first comment was with respect to as I stated to the usual aggressive protestor. If terrorists are going to strike it will make not one bit of difference to them what ammunition we use they've got a job to do.
stephley stephley 9 years
It is perfect Hypno. Dave, how is it naive? Are you expecting a well-armed militia to show up at the Democratic convention? If you're expecting trouble from outsiders, then police at both conventions should be heavily armed because terrorists would more likely target the Republicans wouldn't they?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
It's very nive hypno.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LOL! Isn't it fitting?
stephley stephley 9 years
Love the new you, Hypno!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well unless you expect on having a tactical exchange of weaponry with a locked and loaded enemy I don't see how disclosing ones ammunition to the usual aggresive protestors is going to harm anything. Now strategic planning positioning numbers ect. should be kept secret.
stephley stephley 9 years
Are the police afraid if they release their shopping list that protestors are going to run out and buy something bigger? Mini's right, the shopping list won't compromise security. I think the possibility of violence depends on how the summer leading up to the convention goes.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 9 years
I can understand being prepared for protesters, but this seems a little overboard... but of course we don't know because they won't tell us the extent of the preparations. While it does make sense not to release tactical maps, police deployment plans, timetables and that kind of thing, I'm not sure that releasing the shopping list would compromise their ability to use what they bought.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Pepper? You know when spraying protesters these days, many riot police prefer more exotic seasonings. Paprika, garlic and basil are more acceptable and appreciated choices for this year's spicy political antagonists.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Are we really worried that there will be rioters at the democratic convention? I thought the only party people hated was the conservatives....
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