September 17, 2020

Duckworth Statement in Response to Reports Military Considered Using ‘Heat Ray’ Devices Against D.C. Protestors


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, released the following statement in response to reports that the military considered using ‘heat ray’ devices against D.C. protestors in June:

“I am alarmed by reports that military police considered using a ‘heat ray’ device—which has never been used aside from testing purposes due to safety concerns—and referred to American citizens as ‘potential adversaries’ this past summer. While I understand that the military must prepare for any possible scenario when planning operations, they must also avoid unnecessary escalation and ensure that their use of ‘less-lethal weapons’ are appropriate, effective and humane. I’ll continue monitoring these reports closely and conducting oversight to ensure that Americans are not treated as adversaries in their own country and military and law enforcement functions remain separate.”