"Skunk Water," Or: Riot Police Are Going To Make Everything Smell Like Shit
Riot control tools have to walk a fine line between "not discouraging enough" and "way too goddamn dangerous." At first, a weapons-grade stink bomb seems to straddle that line perfectly. Make everyone smell so bad that they become too disgusted to keep rioting? Shit, can we get a commercial version for when our roommate won't take the hint that we want to watch a movie?
"Skunk" has a few problems, aside from a name that sounds like the new teen dance craze. Described by one journalist as smelling "like dirty diapers mixed with old roadkill that's been left in the sun," it's so hardcore that it sounds like something the Israeli military would come up with. Mainly because that's exactly where it came from.
The guy in the hazmat suit looks like he's about to contribute to the smell.
Skunk scent has a tendency to linger for days and cause massive collateral damage. Spraying looters in a store may discourage them, but you've also ruined all the store's merchandise and made it impossible for them to operate for a week. Stinking for days makes it easy to identify rioters to arrest after the fact, but it also ruins the lives of innocent bystanders, whose friends, family, and co-workers will think they were out committing crimes. And let's not pretend there isn't an element of humiliation. In September, it was reported that U.S. police departments have been stocking up on skunk. Imagine the reaction if a mostly white police force made a mostly-black community reek like beached sperm whale for days.
Especially when it's coming from a vehicle that looks like it's operated by Hydra.