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PepperBall Technologies of San Diego (headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana) has received a sole-source $498,970 contract from the federal government's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the investigative unit of Homeland Security, to provide pepper-ball launchers, according to Government Security News.

The projectiles will be used largely for training purposes. The agency said the San Diego company is the only firm capable of providing the launchers and projectiles at the required level of quality.

Pepper-ball projectiles have been used by several branches of government when an attack with a deadly weapon is unwarranted. However, there has been a lot of controversy about the misuse of pepper-ball projectiles, particularly during the Occupy demonstrations that began in 2011.

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Comments

CaptD Nov. 1, 2013 @ 12:34 p.m.

Shooting anyone, especially if they are exercising their legal right to protest should be a crime and if done by a sworn officer, just cause for instant removal from the Police Dept. pending a swift inernal investigation!

If this is not the case in San Diego, then we have already lost our freedom to protest, since we have seen too many cases nation-wide where trigger happy sworn officers make wrong judgements and then try and somehow justify their actions when caught on video...

Video taping should be required in all situations in order to allow those 'shot" to refer to an impartial record of the event; this would save big lawsuits against the Police and the Cities that employ them!

San Diego would be well advised to fly a video drone over all demonstrations, so that both side can then refer to its PUBLIC record of the event, this would enable lawful demonstrations without bias from either side...

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2013 @ 1:27 p.m.

CaptD: The use of pepper spray in the Occupy movement was disgraceful. In Oakland, one person was seriously injured and suffered brain damage. A security person sprayed pepper right in people's eyes at UC Davis. Best, Don Bauder

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CaptD Nov. 2, 2013 @ 9:36 a.m.

I believe that the use of video, which is able to be viewed publicly will protect our freedom, since it will serve as an unbiased observer which will be hard to attack in court...

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2013 @ 10:49 a.m.

CaptD: Of course, a judge could close his/her eyes and say he/she can't read anything into the videos. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Nov. 2, 2013 @ 9:21 p.m.

I think this may be a good thing for agents to have at the border in order to respond to rocks and bottles with effective but non-lethal force.

Certainly pepper spray shouldn't be used to disperse crowds when no threat of violent force exists.

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Don Bauder Nov. 3, 2013 @ 6:57 a.m.

ImJustABill: Remember, though, the government says these less lethal pepper spray weapons are for training purposes. Of course, it could be lying. It would hardly be the first time government lied.

Use of such weapons in the Occupy movement was disgraceful. I know alums who won't give to UC-Davis anymore because of that university's wretched behavior. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Nov. 3, 2013 @ 5:38 p.m.

The University of California system has a reputation for being a bastion of free speech but I don't really think that reputation is truly deserved - it hasn't been supported by the administration.

Supposedly, UCSD (built during the 1960's) was designed specifically without a well-defined campus center to avoid a centralized meeting spot for protests. Over the years eventually the Price Center evolved as a campus center but the 5(6? 7?) college system still tends to keep the campus decentralized.

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2013 @ 2:58 p.m.

ImJustABill: The fire that burned in student bellies in the 1960s just isn't around now. In my judgment, it should burn even more these days, with students deeply in debt, jobs difficult to get, and American foreign policy still on the wrong track. Sigh. I guess it will take a resumption of the draft to get the bile stirring again. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Nov. 3, 2013 @ 1:27 p.m.

BTW from the strange but true department, the officer who did the spraying at UCD has somehow been awarded $38,000 as a result of his suffering as a result of the incident.

Crazy world.

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/UC-Davis-pepper-spray-officer-awarded-38-000-4920773.php

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Don Bauder Nov. 3, 2013 @ 1:46 p.m.

ImJustABill: Absolutely outrageous. Best, Don Bauder

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