So It Begins: American Police Start Pushing to Weaponize Domestic Drones

DroneProtestBy Claire Bernish

Police are now voicing their concerns about domestic drone use — specifically, they want the option to be able to employ weaponized drones in the future, should the need arise.

As if police brutality and aggression weren’t already an epidemic in the United States, police departments in Connecticut oppose a bill to outlaw the weaponization of drones. The bill also addresses unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with cameras, and their potential to violate the privacy rights of individuals. But law enforcement departments in the state appear far more concerned with being deprived of the possibility of arming them with weapons, rather than cameras.

As FOX 61 reported, bills currently being considered would both restrict drone use and classify arming them with any weapons — such as firearms or flamethrowers — as a Class C felony. Employing drones to set off explosives, deadly weapons, tear gas, and the like would be punishable by ten years in prison — and, at the moment, that would include law enforcement. As written, the bill would require law enforcement to procure a warrant prior to using a drone for any reason.

Connecticut legislators seem to be taking practically the opposite route of those in North Dakota.

In 2015, North Dakota passed a law granting police the right to arm drones with “less than lethal” weaponry. Quietly slipping under the radar of the public and the media, the bill as originally written by its sponsor, Representative Rick Becker, banned all weapons on police drones — until a powerful police lobby had its way with the original draft.

“Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. ‘Less than lethal’ weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones,” Justin Glawe reported for The Daily Beast in August.

Of course, ‘less than lethal’ is quite a misnomer. Besides maiming and seriously injuring people, many of those options can also be fatal — particularly Tasers.

“This is not one I’m in full agreement with. I wish it was any weapon,” Becker rued at a hearing in March. “In my opinion, there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period.”

He noted the potential for police to mimic U.S. use of drones abroad, as in fighting ISIL — particularly because, he added, “When you’re on the ground, and you’re making decisions, you’re sort of separate. Depersonalized.”

North Dakota may have succumbed to Big Drone’s wishes — as the Daily Beast described the booming industry and its lobbyists — but it’s almost inevitable that privacy rights groups, legislators, concerned citizens, and law enforcement will point to its and Connecticut’s laws as reference precedents. Depending on which turn the bills before the Connecticut legislature take, that state could be added to what will likely be a growing list of laws for how to deal with weaponized drones.

Joining the battle to prevent police spying by drone, the ACLU was slated to testify about the Connecticut bill on Tuesday.

For now, the prospect of law enforcement arming drones remains a legal gray area — at least, in most areas of the U.S.

Also Read:
India to Use Weaponized Drones For Crowd Control
The Orwellian ‘Non-Lethal’ War Waged Against Peaceful Citizens
5 Things You Need to Know About This Week’s Drone Wars

This article (So It Begins: American Police Start Pushing to Weaponize Domestic Drones) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].

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13 Comments on "So It Begins: American Police Start Pushing to Weaponize Domestic Drones"

  1. “… police departments in Connecticut oppose a bill to outlaw the weaponization of drones.”

    There is something the author of this article does not understand. Drones are already weaponized Connecticut. The police have always had guns.

  2. It’s all connected. Global banks still rule. Any and all profits to them are their “fair” while any fairness to the people is… out of line.

  3. Business as usual, “the only good citizen is a dead one”. is the viewpoint of the alien/military/industrial/complex!!

  4. So – now – any time the police get upset w/ any one they can just take the drone guy out for a beer…push the button.

    • Lets find a cop brave enough to do that! Unless of course they are far away and behind closed doors. Thats how cowards fight wars…

  5. Oh goody, now they can spray, maim and even kill whole groups of people at once without remorse or responsibility. I’m going to save this link for the next time I read some cop whining about being “the good guys” protecting us. It’s clear we are the enemy.

  6. RattlerRider | March 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Reply

    I remember when this got us laughed at, mocked; Apparently they meant it then and do today;

    We are enemies of the State (Trading with the Enemy Act 1933 Act of 1917 & 1933) (People declared the Enemy) Oct. 6, 1917, under the Trading with the Enemy Act, Section 2 subdivision ( c ) Chapter 106 – Enemy defined “other than citizens of the United States…” March 9, 1933, Chapter 106, Section 5, subdivision (b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act of Oct. 6, 1917 (40 Stat. L. 411) amended as follows: “…any person within the United States.” See H.R. 1491 Public No. 1.

  7. Badger Badgerism | March 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Reply


  8. Great post! And I agree…

  9. Excellent point. The right to bear “ARMS” is, indeed, a two-way street .. and USSA police will definitely lose to 300 Americans once they start down the path of their BOLSHEVISM (the USSR Bolsheviks exterminated over 60 million Russians under both Lenin and Stalin; simply, because they were disarmed).
    Obama .. a strong proponent of disarming the citizenry .. is a Bolshevik. He was mentored by Bolsheviks, the likes of Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers, during his youth and through college. He has also ensured that the USSA’s police forces were indoctrinated to emulate the CHEKA and NKVD – albeit with much more advanced technology.
    Yes, drones can be disabled – either by hacking into their software – or shot down. However, it’s best to employ software experts to hack the drones’ software systems; thus, turning these drones against the Bolshevik forces.

  10. Crystalsinger | March 5, 2016 at 11:09 am | Reply

    The Book of Revelation is coming true right before our very eyes. Insect-like creatures with lethal stingers.

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