The nation's largest border control agency, part of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Friday was caught flying an unarmed Predator drone over the city of Minneapolis, where just hours earlier the third night of protests against the killing of a handcuffed, unarmed Black man by four police officers erupted.
"Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is flying a Predator drone, military technology used for surveilling and killing terrorists abroad, over Minneapolis as protesters continue to demonstrate against police brutality, according to publicly available flight data. The drone flown over Minneapolis is an unarmed version of the aircraft," Vice News reports.
NOW: @CBP Predator Drone #CPB104 circling over Minneapolis at 20K feet. Took off from Grand Forks Air Force Base.… https://t.co/PHiFkLFwgL— Jason Paladino (@Jason Paladino)1590768243.0
Citing "members of the ADB-S Exchange, a community of flight watchers who use open-source flight data to monitor America's skies," Vice's tech site Motherboard "verified the flight path of CPB104 with flight data from ADB-S Exchange, a repository of unfiltered flight data."
"The drone took off from the Air Force Base before making several hexagonal-shaped flyovers around Minneapolis, according to the data. At the time of writing, the drone is still above the city."
Here are a few tweets documenting the flight of the drone, versions of which have been used by the U.S. Air Force and CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tweets posted by Project On Government Oversight's investigative reporter Jason Paladino.
flying in a hexagon at exactly 20,000 ft. https://t.co/IjH5Q4Vhn9— Jason Paladino (@Jason Paladino)1590769592.0
aircraft appears to be leaving Minneapolis, possibly returning to base https://t.co/EXnk1kHec8— Jason Paladino (@Jason Paladino)1590772284.0
Read the entire Vice News report here.