Seattle Mayor Bans Police From Using Drones…(Yes!!)
Backlash against spy craft exploding nationwide
Feb 8, 2013
The backlash against government and law enforcement plans to use surveillance drones is continuing apace across the nation, with the latest victory for privacy coming in Seattle.
AP reports that Mayor Mike McGinn ordered the city police department to scrap extensive plans it had to roll out drones it has already acquired through federal grant money.
“Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority,” a statement from the Mayor read.
Residents and anti-drone activists have been leading protests against the drone plans for some time. A City Council meeting on Wednesday saw many speak out against the plans, influencing the decision to block authority for police to use the unmanned craft.
Doug Honig, a spokesman for the Washington chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said “We applaud the mayor’s action… Drones would have given the police unprecedented abilities to engage in surveillance and intrude on the privacy of people in Seattle … and there was a never a strong case made that Seattle needed them for public safety.”