Apparently, “predator drones” have been used to assist US based law enforcement officials for domestic law enforcement a number of times. We all knew that drones were being used to guard our borders from hoards of Canadians coming from the North, but lately North Dakota local and state police have had drone assistance in entirely domestic law enforcement.
Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.
Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.
He also called in a Predator B drone.
The drone was used to locate the suspects, and determine that they were not armed. They were then arrested. That was the first time (that we know of) that this has happened, but not the last. Since last June, the drones in North Dakota have been used a number of times.
Local officials and the military claim that use by local law enforcement is part of the mandate of the deployment of these drones for border patrol, but at least one member of Congress, who was on the committee most directly involved in the funding and authorization of this program, says otherwise.
…former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), who sat on the House homeland security intelligence subcommittee at the time and served as its chairwoman from 2007 until early this year, said no one ever discussed using Predators to help local police serve warrants or do other basic work….”There is no question that this could become something that people will regret,” said Harman, who resigned from the House in February and now heads the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington think tank.
What do you think?