As protestors and police officers clash on the streets of divided cities such as Baltimore, Maryland, and Ferguson, Missouri, some police departments are stockpiling a highly controversial weapon to control civil unrest.
It’s called Skunk, a type of “malodorant,” or in plainer language, a foul-smelling liquid. Technically nontoxic but incredibly disgusting, it has been described as a cross between “dead animal and human excrement.” Untreated, the smell lingers for weeks.
The Israeli Defense Forces developed Skunk in 2008 as a crowd-control weapon for use against Palestinians. Now Mistral, a company out of Bethesda, Maryland, is providing it to police departments in the United States, including the Ferguson PD.
Skunk is composed of a combination of baking soda and amino acids, Mistral program manager Stephen Rust said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Armament Systems Forum on April 20. “You can drink it, but you wouldn’t want to,” said Rust, a retired U.S.Army project manager.