As if it isn’t bad enough that drone-driven weapons are actually a thing… now, police in North Dakota are able to use this technology to remote-control situations that they feel require weaponized force — most notably and obviously, against protesters fighting the illegal Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)
The Independent reports the following:
Armed drones could be used by police in the US state of North Dakota after local lawmakers legalised their use.
While they will be limited to “less than lethal” weapons, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray could all be used in theory by the remote controlled flying machines.
In a classic case of unintended consequences, the original sponsor, Republican state representative Rick Becker said he was unhappy with the way legislation turned out.
His original intention was to prevent law enforcement officials from using the unmanned aerial vehicles from conducting surveillance on private property without a warrant.
“In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponised,” he said.
The original draft of the House Bill 1328 said: “A state agency may not authorize the use of, including granting a permit to use, an unmanned aircraft armed with any lethal or non-lethal weapons, including firearms, pepper spray, bean bag guns, mace, and sound-based weapons.”
However, the state’s police union amended the Bill, limiting the ban to only lethal weapons, meaning that sounds cannons or rubber bullets could be used on police drones, according to The Daily Beast.
Police already get way too trigger happy in many situations. Now, with the powder keg of the #NoDAPL protests and the multi-state militarized police response, imagine how many more issues could come about now that they can remote control their weapons from the sky…
Police in North Dakota have refused to respond to our direct question of whether they plan to use armed drones against protesters, now that this has been legalized in their state.