Quantcast
Connect with us

Connecticut lawmakers co-opt privacy bill to allow police use of drones armed with tear gas, explosives

Published

on

Drone in sky (Shutterstock)

Connecticut lawmakers are pushing a bill that would legalize the use of armed drones for police officers. The state’s judiciary committee approved a bill on Thursday titled, “An Act Concerning the Use and Regulation of Drones” that would ban weaponized drones for use by anyone except for police officers, according to Gizmodo.

The bill would allow police officers to use drones armed with tear gas, incendiary devices, explosives, and “remote deadly weapons.” If the bill is signed, it would go into effect in October, 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT

In its original form, the bill did not include a provision to allow police to equip drones with arms. Rather, as David McGuire, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut tells Raw Story, “The underlying bill was strong because it only authorized police to use drones with a warrant for surveillance.”

The original bill required officers to obtain a warrant before surveilling individuals suspected of a crime, and would require police to report annually how they used drones. “It protected privacy and free speech rights,” said McGuire.

The added provision, McGuire said, “turned a bill that was about protecting peoples’ rights into a bill that violates peoples’ civil rights by allowing use of force.”

State Senator John Kissel told the Associated Press that the committee added the provision “for very limited circumstances.” Kissel said, “We can certainly envision some incident on some campus or someplace where someone is a rogue shooter or someone was kidnapped and you try to blow out a tire.”

The United States has seen a growing militarization of police forces in recent years. The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri that followed the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014 drew public attention to the 1033 Program — or the National Defense Authorization Act — that allowed the transfer of excess military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies.

ADVERTISEMENT

During a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas in July 2016, police used a robot equipped with a bomb to kill a sniper who had killed five police officers, setting a new and dangerous precedent for policing.

McGuire tells me, “We have been struggling with the issue of militarization of police — this [bill] would be escalating that in a serious and unprecedented way.”

“This amendment would send a terrible message to over-policed and victimized communities,” McGuire said. He added that the last few years have been spent working to rebuild community trust in law enforcement.

ADVERTISEMENT

If the bill passes with the added amendment, Connecticut would be the first state in the country allowing police to use drones with lethal weapons. “I think you would see more use of force,” said McGuire. But he remains positive that the bill can go back to its original intent.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump blew his big chance — and now the next two debates really won’t matter

Published

on

Donald Trump went into the first debate with a gargantuan challenge: He had to do something that turned around his sagging poll numbers to bring in voters, some of whom he lost to Joe Biden and desperately needs.

This article was originally published at The Signorile Report

Joe Biden’s challenge was simply surviving the onslaught, in tact. He more than achieved that while Trump more than failed at his challenge. Trump alienated everyone with his ugly interruptions and meltdowns — even though most of his own supporters will vote for him nonetheless.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Sacha Baron Cohen pranks Pence in upcoming ‘Borat’ sequel

Published

on

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pranked Vice President Mike Pence as part of a bit in his forthcoming sequel to the 2006 film "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

The long-rumored comedy will premier Oct. 23 on Amazon Prime Video, and features a scene filmed at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference held back in February, just before the coronavirus lockdowns, reported The Daily Beast.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Court rules the Trump administration policing panel broke the law — and must halt its work

Published

on

U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled Thursday that one of President Donald Trump's "blue ribbon panels" broke public meetings laws, reported Politico.

The law enforcement panel violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, according to the federal court judge, by only allowing law enforcement on the commission and by holding meetings in secret.

"The commission’s final report was set to go to Attorney General William Barr later this month, but Bates said no recommendations can be submitted until the panel remedies the legal violations," Politico reported.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE