As authorities around the nation attempted to keep the peace over the weekend, police officers in Chicago, Illinois found themselves dealing with a very unique threat: Rap songs from the late 80’s.
Protesters are undoubtedly getting more sophisticated these days, especially as many of the world’s institutions continue to move their data and communications to the slightly vulnerable online space.
Cyber-protesters were able to use this weakness to their advantage over the weekend, leaving Windy City Police at a disadvantage.
Hackers interrupted Chicago’s police radio system over the weekend with everything from anti-cop music to pro-police slogans as dispatchers struggled to answer calls during the looting and gun violence.
“It’s a very dangerous thing that they’re doing,” said Dan Casey, deputy director of public safety information technology in the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
Casey said recordings of the rogue transmissions are being provided to local and federal authorities, who will investigate.
“Jamming,” as it’s called, is illegal and can carry heavy prison time. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an eight-year prison sentence for a man who jammed police radio frequencies in Madison, Wisconsin.
And just what were officers hearing?
More than 130,000 people have viewed a YouTube video posted Sunday in which two men are heard laughing as what they think is Serbian music playing over a scanner on a Chicago police frequency as an officer tries to get help transporting prisoners.
Chicago police officers who worked over the weekend said they also heard the late ‘80s hip-hop song “F— tha police” by N.W.A. on their radios.
Given how quickly information now spreads online, there is little doubt that other police organizations around the nation will be facing similar tactics in the coming days.