A coalition that is attempting to keep the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has written a letter to the city's mayor, Eric Garcetti, to express its disgust and arrange for a discussion.
The group, which calls itself ‘Drone-Free LAPD/No Drones, LA!,’ says in the letter that the LAPD’s drones represent a ‘militarization of local law enforcement’ and will “exacerbate the flagrant violation of privacy rights” of citizens.
In June, it was reported that the LAPD had acquired two Draganflyer X6 vehicles from the Seattle Police Department. The LAPD said the UAVs would be used only for publicly known purposes, not for surveillance. For example, the aircraft, which can take photos and video and have infrared night vision, would be able to enter certain locations and give officers a view of the scene before they go in.
However, the anti-UAV group is not buying it, for it says the LAPD has a “history of lies, brutality and violence against communities.”
The group explains in the letter that drones are “globally associated with death and destruction,” they are a “great safety hazard,” and they create a “high potential for false identification” (i.e., drone photography is not a reliable source of identifying a potential criminal).
The members were planning to hold a protest on Aug. 21, right near the headquarters of the police department.
Read the full letter here.