On Thursday, The New York Times reported that the Air Force Inspector General is opening an investigation into why military aircraft were used to surveil the police brutality protests.
“The inquiry was apparently prompted by lawmakers who expressed concerns to Pentagon officials that the use of military surveillance airplanes may have violated the civil liberties of protesters demonstrating against police violence after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis,” said the report. “The Air Force’s action comes days after the Pentagon’s top intelligence policy official told Congress that the nation’s military intelligence agencies did not spy on American protesters during the wave of nationwide demonstrations.”
“Following discussions with the secretary of defense about shared concerns, the secretary of the Air Force is conducting an investigation into the use of Air National Guard RC-26 aircraft to support civil authorities during recent protest activity in U.S. cities,” said the chief Air Force spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, in response to questioning from The Times.