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Judge: Lawsuit over NYPD’s use of sound cannons can proceed

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has ruled the New York Police Department’s use of sound cannons could be considered a form of excessive force, and a lawsuit against the department can proceed.

Judge Robert Sweet ruled Wednesday there is a “cognizable claim” the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights may have been violated by excessive use of force.

The lawsuit stems from the NYPD’s use of sound cannons known as Long Range Acoustic Devices during 2014 protests over the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. The manufacturer of the devices says they have a “deterrent” function — which emits a series of sharp beeps to disperse crowds. An attorney for the six plaintiffs says the sound left his clients with migraines and hearing damage.

A spokesman says the city’s Law Department is reviewing the decision.

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