Sheriff Debuts Inmate-Zapping Ray Gun

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Leave it to Raytheon Missile Systems to one-up ol’ Simon Legree with their new “Assault Intervention Device” which shoots blasts of heat energy at prisoners that penetrate beneath the skin to the pain receptacles.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Pitchess Detention Center will debut the machine, which can be used via remote control, enabling guards to avoid inmate skirmishes completely.

“We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam,” Cmdr. Bob Osborne told the Los Angeles Daily News. Deputies have reportedly tried the device out on themselves and compared it to an intense, focused heat. A Pasadena Star reporter tried it and said the pain lasted 10 minutes after the blast.

The device is actually a smaller version of a weapon developed by Raytheon for military use. It is one of several the defense contractor has developed and marketed. But the American Civil Liberties Union has already chimed in about it and they criticzed it as “tantamount to torture.”

ACLU attorney told the Associated Press the device is “a weapon that can cause serious injury that is being put into a place where there is a long history of abuse of prisoners.”