April 23, 2014
Police may have violated Federal Aviation Administration rules on flying aircraft as they spied on people smoking marijuana in public during the 4/20 rally in Denver, Colorado. Although recreational marijuana is now legal in the state, it is illegal to smoke it in public.
The Denver Police did not confirm they were responsible for the drone flight over the rally in Denver’s Civic Center Park. Two men were asked to leave the top of the McNichols Civic Center Building because they didn’t have the proper permission. Police did not file an incident report and would not say who the two men responsible for the flight were, according to ABC News.
The FAA specifies “routine operation” of Unmanned Aircraft Systems over populated areas such as Denver is not permitted.
The illegal drone use may be connected to police engaged in revenue generation at the rally. 9News in Denver reported 130 citations and arrests for violating the ordinance.
In February, the FAA investigated an illegal drone flight in Connecticut. Police said the drone was used by journalists. “These drones will be able to broadcast live from active shooters or SWAT team tactical units. … (It’s) very, very concerning to law enforcement because it could give the bad guys an upper hand,” said Lt. Brian Foley of the Hartford Police.