If you've seen the video footage of a South Carolina police officer shooting and killing an unarmed citizen during a traffic stop, you're likely wondering why the officer didn't attempt literally anything else besides firing 8 rounds into Walter Scott's back.
The military has always been at the forefront of non-lethal weapon technology and since the line between domestic police forces and the military are increasingly blurry, the non-lethal weapons industry has begun marketing both to the military and law enforcement. Enter the Z-RO “retinal obfuscation” gun. The Z-RO, which is being developed by Shield Defense Systems, temporary blinds its target for up to 15 minutes. The weapon is still listed as in development on the manufacturer's website. The Reno, Nevada company bills the Z-RO system as “geared toward temporarily subduing offensive targets, while preserving human life, safely obstructs the target's vision temporarily for up to 10-15 minutes via proprietary technology when deployed on engaged mark is 100% effective in forcing active non-lethal compliance over individual or multiple assailing biological targets.” Which sounds great until you remember that tasers are also advertised as being non-lethal, but have wound up killing over 500 people since 2011, regardless of how non-lethal they're advertised as. As more and more citizens have taken documenting police into their own hands to provide footage that contradicts police reports, as is the case with Walter Scott, the ability to take away a witness's very ability to see is terrifying.