In France, a parliamentary report recommends the ban of the defense ball launcher (LBD) during demonstrations. It could be exceptionally used in case of danger or “riot”. This recommendation has an echo as far as Switzerland, since during the demonstrations of the yellow vests, the controversy had been sharp about this weapon which caused serious injuries.
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The LBD40, manufactured in Thun in Switzerland by the company Brügger & Thomet (B&T), had replaced the Flash-Ball in the arsenal of the French police. During the demonstrations at the end of 2018 and 2019, many yellow vests had lost an eye, or had had a fractured jaw, broken teeth or even skull fractures with these 40 mm semi-rigid rubber balls. Several attempts to have this weapon banned then had failed before the French courts.
This report, cited by “20 Minutes.fr”, proposes to ban the use of LBD during crowd movements and to privilege, during “problematic demonstrations”, the use of water cannons. About twenty people were reportedly stunned by LBD fire during the “yellow vests” demonstrations.
This parliamentary report, which contains other measures concerning police violence, is to be adopted Wednesday in committee. He responds to criticism targeting the police, accused of violence and obstructing the movement of demonstrators or journalists. But the French Government defends a harsher line aimed at fighting against the “thugs”.
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