Do you approve of the use of nonlethal weapons on surveillance drones? I.e. Tasers, teargas, rubber bullets
Source: The Daily
As a Texas sheriff prepares to use an unmanned drone as his force’s
eye in the sky, and perhaps even arm it with nonlethal weapons like
Tasers and rubber bullets, civil liberties groups are crying foul.
In the coming weeks, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office north of
Houston says it will deploy a $300,000 ShadowHawk drone — bought with a
federal homeland security grant — to spy on criminals, support SWAT
operations and look for missing persons.
The unmanned helicopter is about the size of a large dog, has a range
of 25 miles and can be operated for 11 percent of the cost of a manned
helicopter, according to the ShadowHawk’s manufacturer, Vanguard Defense
A spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union said the
sheriff’s office’s 50-pound device is part of a worrying rise of
unmanned surveillance by police.
“Drones are coming to America, to a police department near you,” said
Kirsten Bokenkamp, with the Houston ACLU. “The biggest fear with
domestic drones is the prospect of surveillance, the idea that Americans
will simply be subject to surveillance by drones outdoors whenever they
happen to go outside.”
Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel said the Montgomery County’s unmanned
aerial vehicle, or UAV, would only be deployed in instances when
officers had probable cause to believe a crime was taking place.
“We’ve never gone into surveillance for sake of surveillance unless
there is criminal activity afoot,” he said. “Just to see what you’re
doing in your backyard pool — we don’t care.”
While the device will carry high-resolution cameras and infrared
sensors to pinpoint suspects in the dark, McDaniel said there was little
difference between this and the capabilities of manned aircraft.
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