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LAPD Uses Bean Bag Shotgun on Suspect in 'Southland'

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On last week's episode of Southland, the new LAPD crime drama, officers brought out their bean bag shotgun to subdue a suspect. Did NBC stretch reality in this situation? No, they didn't--this is standard protocol and something we've seen used a few times when car chases come to an end.

Bean bag rounds are a "less than lethal munition," according to Officer Ana Aguirre at LAPD Media Relations. She describes it as sock, or hackey sack, type of round that is stuffed into a clear plastic shotgun shell and shot from a real shotgun. When the trigger is pulled, the bag releases and expands as it whirls towards a suspect. It is better used in outdoor than indoor situations as it has an effective range of about 5 to 45 feet.

Tonight's episode is the show's third and will leave the grittier parts of the city for an episode dealing with the celebrity life. Who's is watching this show? Thoughts? Comment below.