Activists referred to as Tuesday on the Board of Supervisors to ban the sheriff’s use of a drone, which the county’s prime regulation enforcement officer plans to make use of in search-and-rescue, bomb detection, hostage conditions and different crucial incidents to maintain the general public and deputies protected.
Protesters — gathered on the steps of the county Corridor of Administration to launch a Drone-Free LASD/No Drones, LA! marketing campaign — stated use of the unmanned aerial craft is a “big step ahead within the militarization of native regulation enforcement” and referred to as on the supervisors to intervene.
Citing an extended historical past of distrust between the Sheriff’s Division and the communities it serves, coalition members stated that they had no confidence that the LASD would restrict using the know-how and respect privateness rights.
“We can’t belief the Sheriff’s Division,” stated coalition spokeswoman Jamie Garcia.
Garcia famous that the division had experimented with using civilian plane for surveillance in Compton in 2012 with out informing residents and even that metropolis’s mayor.
An LASD sergeant acknowledged to the Middle for Investigative Reporting in 2014 that the operation was stored quiet to keep away from complaints.
The coalition touted its success in convincing the Los Angeles Police Division to lock up its drones, acquired from the Seattle Police Division.
In 2014, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck stated he was unwilling to commerce public confidence for some great benefits of drones, although he steered on the time that his division may use them in the identical type of tactical conditions now talked about by the Sheriff’s Division.
Coalition spokesman Hamid Khan stated there have been no circumstances underneath which the group would condone using drones.
“For us … it’s utterly a non-starter,” Khan informed reporters. “We all know how insurance policies are violated.”
Khan stated SWAT groups, initially envisioned to be used in excessive-profile tactical conditions, at the moment are utilized in preventing low-degree drug crimes.
“We all know that mission creep is actual,” Khan stated.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell introduced the acquisition of an unmanned plane system final week, saying the Federal Aviation Administration had additionally permitted its use in hazardous supplies incidents, catastrophe response, arson fires and with barricaded, armed suspects.
The distant managed unit with an on-board video digital camera is assigned to the Particular Enforcement Bureau, which includes the Emergency Providers, Particular Enforcement, Arson/Explosives and HazMat particulars.
“The risks of regulation enforcement can by no means be eradicated. Nevertheless, this know-how can help us in decreasing the influence of dangers on personnel and permit us to carry out operations to reinforce public security,” McDonnell stated final week at a information convention to announce his deliberate drone use.
The drone can collect in any other case inaccessible info and provides deputies the power to make higher decisions, the sheriff stated.
The coalition countered that…