Pepperball: health damage from police?

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At demonstrations last weekend in Dresden, so-called Pepperball weapons were used by the police again. It is now being discussed whether these wafers can cause permanent damage.

These Pepperball weapons, known as ranged weapons, fire bullets filled with pepper dust. Shortly before the demonstrations took place, the Saxon Minister of the Interior hurriedly issued the Pepperball regulation "VwV PeBa SEK". This regulated that the Saxon Special Operations Command (SEK) was allowed to fire the bullets filled with Capsaicin II at people. The reason should have been the fact that the pepper spray, which officials already use, does not work over long distances. The Pepperball use was and is strongly criticized because the projectiles, if they hit the face or neck area, can cause serious lasting damage.

The weapon "TAC 700 launcher" now used comes from the US company "PepperBall Technologies Inc." and has been used many times in the United States. The weapon is a modified version of a weapon used in the paintball area. Up until now, the bullets in Germany were only approved for animal defense, since - according to warnings in sales portals - they can lead to serious injuries if misused or carelessly handled.

According to media reports, there are already documented cases in Switzerland where the weapon has already been used. In Saxony, the Pepperball weapon should only be shot on the chest. Critics, on the other hand, emphasize that in stressful and confusing situations, as can often be found at demonstrations, officials are often unable to guarantee this accuracy. The proximity between the chest area and the neck could quickly lead to hits in sensitive areas in a rapidly moving person in a conflict situation. Physical damage cannot be ruled out. The weapons used so far, such as water cannons and pepper spray, are said to have caused serious injuries to demonstration participants. In the media, "Stuttgart 21" protests last year saw a man who suffered massive eye damage from a water cannon.

According to the online portal DNN of the "Leipziger Volkszeitung", according to estimates by the General Medical Service (ASDS), there were over 150 injuries on the part of the demonstration participants - around 200 people had to rinse their eyes because of the consequences of using pepper. (tf)

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Video: Pepperball VKS Launcher Shooting Demo

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