Seattle Dumps Drones over Privacy Concerns, LAPD Takes them

Justin King | The Anti-Media

The Seattle Police Department purchased two drones for $82,000 with a federal grant, but after the public condemned their use and the outcry became deafening, the police department scrapped plans to ever use the aircraft.

The Los Angeles Police Department overlooked the controversial nature of the drones and accepted them as a gift from Seattle. LAPD has stated they are reviewing the situations in which they will allow drones to be used, and as is typical for the department, they claim they will only use them in a situation that poses imminent harm under “narrow and prescribed uses.”

The LAPD is refusing to refer to the aircraft as drones, but is calling them “remote controlled aircraft.” The “remote controlled aircraft” are equipped to listen in on personal conversations, deploy infrared video surveillance, and use facial recognition software.

Of course, while LAPD is publicly stating that the aircraft will be used only under a very special set of circumstances, the department can’t specify what those circumstances are because it has no written policy for the use of the aircraft.

LAPD has a history of police brutality and corruption. The department has been unable to successfully control its officers while they use something as simple as a baton or a taser. The narrow and prescribed uses the department will eventually adopt, even though they can’t currently say what those uses will be, will inevitably be violated. Each violation will cost the taxpayers when the department has to pay to settle the almost certain civil rights lawsuits.

An ACLU of Southern California spokesperson thanked LAPD for being upfront about having obtained the surveillance drones. The LAPD’s reputation is such that apparently they deserve praise for not lying to the public. The people of Los Angeles need to ask themselves if an organization with that reputation can be trusted with devices that will be able to spy on them in their own homes without a warrant. The government is a child of the people, and this particular child needs to demonstrate that it can correctly and safely use the toys it has before it spends taxpayer dollars maintaining new toys.

This article may be freely republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Justin King and

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