Police Start Pushing to Weaponize Domestic Drones
Police are now voicing their concerns about domestic drone use — specifically, they want the option to be able to employ weaponized drones in the future, should the need arise.
As if police brutality and aggression weren’t already an epidemic in the United States, police departments in Connecticut oppose a bill to outlaw the weaponization of drones. The bill also addresses unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with cameras, and their potential to violate the privacy rights of individuals. But law enforcement departments in the state appear far more concerned with being deprived of the possibility of arming them with weapons, rather than cameras.
In 2015, North Dakota passed a law granting police the right to arm drones with “less than lethal” weaponry. Quietly slipping under the radar of the public and the media, the bill as originally written by its sponsor, Representative Rick Becker, banned all weapons on police drones — until a powerful police lobby had its way with the original draft. ‘less than lethal’ is quite a misnomer. Besides maiming and seriously injuring people, many of those options can also be fatal — particularly Tasers.
Police made the argument that armed drones in law enforcement could be an effective weapon for public safety.
“We’ve had a report that somebody’s going to fly a drone into an airplane, into an engine, or it’s a weaponized drone,” Farmington Police Chief Paul Melanson said. “We’re concerned and we don’t have those answers yet.”
Joining the battle to prevent police spying by drone, the ACLU was slated to testify about the Connecticut bill on Tuesday. ACLU of Connecticut testified against allowing police to arm drones, saying it could open the door even more to excessive use of force.
Original Story: Here