The Privacy Implications Of Using Police Drones To Respond to 911 Calls

The Privacy Implications Of Using Police Drones To Respond to 911 Calls  for Activist Post

TDC Note – Just what we need – more drones. #END

During the Trump administration, we have seen police lying about public surveillance become an art form. A perfect example of this, is police drone acquisitions and their justification for using them.

Last year, when I wrote an article exposing how the Memorial Villages Police Department (PD) in Texas misrepresented how they planned to use drones and later used them to identify suspicious people I thought to myself; this is probably just the beginning.

That same story is being repeated, except this time it is taking place in Georgia.

When the Brookhaven PD acquired drones last year they also promised the public that they would be used exclusively for search and rescue operations, crowd control at festivals and events, and to assist with criminal investigations.”

But a portent of what was to come was revealed in The Daily Leader‘s article titled “Police Drone Usage Takes Off.”

Sgt. Jonathan Alford, who is currently the only officer with a license to fly a drone, said the department could not “divulge any information regarding the Brookhaven Police Department’s UAS Program, its implementation, or operations of the UAS.”

“Dennis Lott, who runs Hinds Community College’s Unmanned Aerial Systems program, said all law enforcement agencies will use drone aircraft in daily operations in the near future.”

The article went on to quote the usual privacy concerns about police drones but it also left the public with an interesting admission from Sgt. Alford who said, “the drone can be used to find someone suspected of a crime.”

That comment should have been a red flag to Georgia residents, namely that police departments had no intention of keeping their word to only use drones in dire emergencies.

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