Elk Grove Police propose aerial drones; are you afraid of losing your stuff?

By Michael Monasky |  

We live in a police state.

Some find this statement reassuring.

I can say this with some certainty, as nearly 60 percent of our general funds are used to pay for police services, and we get what we pay for. Now the police department is requesting permission to use aerial drones, without much information about specifics. Will they be armed? Where and when will they be used, and will their use be subject to the legal principle of probable cause?

The Elk Grove Police Department wants to buy and operate aerial drones purchased from funds supplied by asset forfeiture, a self-replenishing cycle which enables the cops to seek and take more stuff.  Most importantly, will the taking and disposal of assets occur before criminal conviction in a public court of law? For this very reason, conservative members of Congress and the Senate oppose enhancement of asset forfeiture rules, including Senator Mike Lee (Utah), Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky), Representative Justin Amash (Michigan), and former Representative Darrell Issa (California). 

Part of the justification for buying aerial drones is the common use which could be applied to other departments. Will the police share their aerial drone footage with code enforcement and other administrative divisions? Violations of building codes and breaches of other related community development ordinances such as weed overgrowth and blight aren’t crimes; but if noted by aerial drones, will the rules of asset forfeiture be applied now or modified in the future? In 2015 the Washington Post reported “law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did last year,” seizing $5 BB while burglary losses were $3.5 BB. Now federal rules bypass limits imposed by states, allowing local police to seize and keep 80 percent of assets, allocating 20 percent to the DOJ,. 

We do live in a police state, don’t we?

Perhaps for now it’s only a surveillance state, a proto-fascist corporate tail wagging the dog of governance; after all, who’s most afraid of losing their stuff?

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

According to CNN:

"Chinese-made drones may be sending sensitive flight data to their manufacturers in China, where it can be accessed by the government there, the US Department of Homeland Security warned in an alert issued Monday obtained by CNN.

The drones are a "potential risk to an organization's information," the alert from DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency states. The products "contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself.

The report does not name any specific manufacturers, but nearly 80% of the drones used in the US and Canada come from DJI, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, according to one industry analysis. US local law enforcement organizations and infrastructure operators have grown to rely on drones in recent years".

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