Torontonians are sound cannon “guinea pigs,” lawyer argues -

Torontonians are sound cannon “guinea pigs,” lawyer argues

Police, civil liberty groups debate risk of hearing loss ahead of G20 summit


Civil liberty groups made a last-minute pitch to prevent police officers from using sound cannons on unruly crowds just days before G20 leaders make their weekend descent on Toronto. Lawyers for police and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association argued back and forth on just how dangerous the cannons are and what the risk of hearing loss is. Police have bought four sound cannons, which emit a loud beeping noise similar to a smoke detector. Police will also use the sound cannons to broadcast pre-recorded voice messages to crowded demonstrations. Lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo, who was hired by the civil liberties association and the Canadian Labour Congress, said Torontonians should not be used as “guinea pigs” to test the sound cannons. He argued that the devices can cause permanent hearing loss and said police are not properly trained to use the devices. He also accused police of relying on manufacturer studies about safety, rather than independent research. Police lawyer Darrel Smith argued that sound cannons are needed to communicate with crowds so noisy they may drown out a traditional megaphone. Smith compared the maximum decibel level to that of an ambulance siren or leaf blower, and said police would move at least 75 metres away from a crowd before changing the settings to full blast. Although Cavalluzzo compared the use of sound cannons to unregulated Tasers, Smith said the two devices are not comparable because Tasers are designed to cause bodily harm. Ontario Superior Court judge David Brown will give his decision on Friday morning.

Toronto Star

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Torontonians are sound cannon “guinea pigs,” lawyer argues

  1. Protesters accept violence and promote injury, this is not an issue. Left leaning people preach peace but practice violence, if they grow up and stay home they won't have to worry about the noise.

    • "Left leaning people," nice generalizing there. Let's think of neo-Nazi rallies and substitute in "right leaning people, " and viola! More easy generalizing!

      Anyhow, some protesters may be violent and/or cause property damage. For them I have no sympathy. But do we have a guarantee that the cops won't use the sound cannons "to communicate" with peaceful demonstrators who are marching within the bounds of the law?

      • Actually you'd be surprised to see the similarities between neo-Nazis, Nazis and the political left.

        • Go ahead and enlighten us with your crock history Mr. Jonah Goldberg.

      • They are left-leaning people.

        Right-leaning people are too busy earning a living.

        • My contention wasn't that the protesters weren't left-leaning. I agree they are. My contention was with Philanthropists statement that "left-leaning people" in general enjoy violence. Horse pucky!

      • Neo-Nazis are the ones who get attacked when they march if you would care to notice, they seem to have the disipline to not incite violence – even though Nazis are National Socialists and therefore leftists.

        Peaceful demonstrators will only have to worry about the sound cannons if they provide cover for the violent demonstrators within their leftist ranks, if they hand the thugs over to the cops right away, then they'll have no worries.

  2. You can tell none of the protesters have jobs…otherwise they could just pick up a pair of 12 cent foam ear plugs and render the mega-buck noise cannons useless.

    • The canon is specifically designed to penetrate through ear plugs. Even ear plugs with headphones overtop lower the noise by only a few decibels.

  3. These sound cannons have been used for years by Israeli authorities on peaceful Palestinian demonstrators and their Jewish and international supporters. Foam earplugs are useless, Mr. Mushman.
    The whole point of these extreme police tools is to promote reaction that can be described as 'violent', even if no weapons are available to protestors.

      • You obviously no not of what you speak. A chainsaw doesn't create 1/10th of the sound one of these cannons will.

  4. I wish the protesters well. There will be lots of people instigating and hoping for violence and they won't all be agents of the state and their apologists.

    Exercise your free speech or lose it…

  5. When is a country considered a police state?

    • when a minority government can rule like a dictator and trample our rights in the process?

  6. We need to dwelve further into the Torontonian species. They are a peculiar bunch, always voting against reality, not willing to accept it. Perhaps scientific experiments, such as the sound cannon, may give us some insight into how they react when hit with reality. Though the amount of those who will be there who are actually Torontonian might be low, though if all reactions are the same, we will still gain valuable insight into the Torontonian brain.

  7. Wonder if these left wing loonies will leave Canada if Harper gets a majority next election. Bye, don't let the door hit you on the way out.