May 23, 2012
Cops are so gaga over the prospect of their shiny new UAV toys, they want to outfit them with “non-lethal” weapons.
Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily that his department is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone.
“Those are things that law enforcement utilizes day in and day out and in certain situations it might be advantageous to have this type of system on the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle),” McDaniel told The Daily.
Imagine: cops sitting behind telescreens with doughnuts in one hand and joysticks in the other zapping malefactors who refuse to pay their overdue parking tickets (or forget to return library books) or who are detected by an ever-present police eye in the sky smoking weed in their backyards or some other dangerous behavior outlawed by the state.
Of course, most of the time people who refuse or forget to pay up for an ever growing number of crimes are not riddled with rubber bullets or gassed with CS – that sort of treatment is reserved for folks who dare engage in a redress of grievances.
“It’s simply not appropriate to use any of force, lethal or non-lethal, on a drone,” sniffed Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the ACLU.
“When the officer is on the scene, they have full access to info about what has transpired there,” Crump said. “An officer at a remote location far away does not have the same level of access.”
Never mind that on-the-ground access by cops often results in death for serious crimes like riding a bicycle drunk.
Today rubber bullets, tomorrow Predator drones bristling with Hellfire missiles.