NEW YORK—Responding to criticisms of law enforcement injuring demonstrators, NYPD chief Terence Monahan publicly defended his squad’s controversial use of non-lethal rubber tires Wednesday as a means of de-escalating ongoing protests against police brutality. “What you have to understand is that these tires were not designed to kill people; instead, they have a special treaded rubber coating specifically developed to soften their impact,” said Monahan, adding that the tires wielded by his officers were the exact same model as those used by children for swings and those featured on every car across America. “This is a purposefully restrained crowd-control tactic to stun people and stop them in their tracks, not cause fatal harm. They are only deployed when an officer feels like they are in imminent danger. Sure, in some cases, poorly aimed tires have caused internal bleeding, fractured bones, or left bruises shaped like tread marks over various body parts, but overall, this bouncy, flexible alternative is far preferable to being run over with hard metal wheels. Believe me, if these were intended to cause serious harm, you would know it.” Monahan later refused to address claims by manufacturers that rubber tires are only less lethal when aimed at the ground rather than directly at protestors.
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