What The Heck Is A Flash Bomb? (And Other Crowd Control Weapons Allegedly Used At Occupy Oakland)

Rubber Bullet Wound

Photo: Twitter

We know that Oakland’s police department fired rubber bullets and tear gas on unarmed protesters.But there’s been a lot of speculation on what else they used, especially after Veteran Scott Olsen ended up in critical condition at Oakland’s Hig-land Hospital. (You can see video of him collapsing on the link).

The word from protesters is that police used flash-bombs (stun grenades or flash bangs), bean bag rounds, on peaceful demonstrators who also suffered injuries from tear gas canisters.

But what does any of that mean? We weren’t sure, so we decided to find out for you. Here is the Oakland Police Department’s policy on using all of these weapons.

Flash-bombs: Developed by the British in the 1960s, these are supposed to non-lethal stun weapons. But there have been multiple accounts of their fatal use. They work by flashing a light that momentarily deactivates all light sensitive cells in the human eye for about 5 seconds. The sound flash-bombs make disturb the fluid in a victims ear. The bombs themselves are made with holes in them, so they don’t fracture, but they can burn anyone nearby.

You can see a super short YouTube video of home made flash bombs going off below:

Bean Bag Rounds: Also known as a flexible baton round, or just, baton round. This is basically a lead bullet wrapped in a fabric pillow and fired from a 12-gauge shot gun. It can fly at 200 to 300 feet per second.

And here’s what they can do to you:

And now we all know what tear gas does, but the canisters that they come in can do a lot of damage to a body when they explode as well.

Below, you can check out a short video of police hitting a rioter in Vancouver with one earlier this year:

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