Police Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on police corruption
There are many reasons for women to think twice about reporting sexual assault. But one potential consequence looms especially large: They may also be prosecuted. This month, a retired police lieutenant in Memphis, Tenn., Cody Wilkerson, testified, as part of a lawsuit against the city, not only that police detectives sometimes neglected to investigate cases of sexual assault but also that he overheard the head of investigative services in the citys police department say, on his first day in charge: The first thing we need to do is start locking up more victims for false reporting. Its an alarming choice of priorities. In 2015 we wrote an article ... about Marie, an 18-year-old who reported being raped. Instead of interviewing her as a victim, [detectives] interrogated her as a suspect. Under pressure, Marie eventually recanted - and was charged with false reporting, punishable by up to a year in jail. More than two years later, the police in Colorado arrested a serial rapist - and discovered a photograph proving he had raped Marie. Cases like hers can be found around the country. In 1997, a legally blind woman reported being raped at knife point in Madison, Wis. That same year, a pregnant 16-year-old reported being raped in New York City. In 2004, a 19-year-old reported being sexually assaulted at gunpoint in Cranberry Township, Pa. In all three instances, the women were charged with lying. In all three instances, their reports turned out to be true. The men who raped them were later identified and convicted.
The head of the police force investigating reports of child sexual abuse by [former U.K. Prime Minister] Sir Edward Heath reportedly believes in the allegations 120 per cent. Chief Constable Mike Veale, of Wiltshire Police, is reportedly convinced by testimony from alleged victims of the former Conservative Prime Minister because they have given similar accounts to investigators. Sir Edward, who was Prime Minister between 1970 and 1974, died in 2005. Wiltshire Police appealed for information about claims he was involved in abusing children after the Independent Police Complaints Commission began investigating whether a similar claim, made in the 1990s, had been handled properly. A retired senior officer alleged that Wiltshire Police deliberately caused a criminal prosecution to fail in 1994 after the defendant, a brothel owner, threatened to tell the press she supplied Sir Edward with underage boys for sex if the trial went ahead. But the trial was dropped because witnesses refused to testify, the IPCC said, and it found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
A new study digs into the reasons people are wrongly convicted, and it has found that 54 percent of those defendants are victimized by official misconduct, with police involved in 34 percent of cases, prosecutors in 30 percent, and some cases involving both police and prosecutors. The study by the National Registry of Exonerations reviewed 2,400 exonerations it has logged between 1989 and 2019, nearly 80 percent of which were for violent felonies. Of the 2,400, 93 innocent defendants were sentenced to death and later cleared before they were executed. The study also found that police and prosecutors are rarely disciplined for actions that lead to a wrongful conviction. Researchers found that 4 percent of prosecutors involved in those convictions were disciplined, but the penalties were comparatively mild and only three were disbarred. Police officers were disciplined in 19 percent of cases leading to wrongful convictions, and in 80 percent of those cases officers were convicted of crimes, such as Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who led a group of officers who planted drug or gun evidence leading to 66 false convictions. The 2,400 cases are far from a comprehensive count, since there is no centralized national database of criminal cases at the state and local levels. So an estimate of how often wrongful convictions occur, as a percentage of overall cases, is not possible. The study acknowledges there are other areas to examine, including quantifying ineffective assistance by defense attorneys.
Covering protests in Minneapolis on Saturday, photojournalist Ed Ou could feel his hands and face were wet. For a long time, he didnt know if it was teargas, pepper spray, or blood in the end, it turned out to be a combination of all three. He has documented civil unrest in the Middle East, Ukraine and Iraq, where he learned a few things. So when the curfew hit and police fired teargas into the crowd of protesters, Ou stood steady, out of the way, documenting. And then the unexpected happened. They literally started throwing concussive grenades in our direction, in the middle of the journalists, he says. What ensued was a prolonged attack that involved being hit at with batons, being teargassed, dodging concussive grenades and begging for help. As of 9pm Thursday, the US press freedom tracker has received 192 reports of journalists being attacked by police forces while covering the protests across the US. Among them, some have sustained serious injuries. Linda Tirado, a photojournalist, was hit in the face with a tracer round, resulting in loss of sight in one eye. The Chicago Tribunes Ryan Fairclough was left with stitches after being shot through the window of his moving car. In Detroit, Nicole Hester was hit by pellets fired by Detroit police, leaving welts on her body. Others have been beaten up, arrested, their equipment damaged and they have been threatened for taking photos and filming on public streets. These are not one-off incidents: this is a picture of widespread attacks on the profession.
By the time Officer Joseph Ferrigno shot a Black man from behind, court records show, the Rochester cop had drawn at least 23 misconduct complaints in nearly nine years on the force. Through it all, the Rochester Police Department and the Locust Club, the local police union, stood by Ferrigno. Then came April 1, 2016, when Ferrigno ... spotted a Chevrolet Impala. He saw two Black men inside. Ferrigno drew his Glock handgun. Silvon Simmons, the passenger in the Impala ... heard no warning. Simmons stepped from the Impala and ... ran toward the back door of the house where he lived. Ferrigno fired four shots, hitting Simmons three times. Before leaving the scene, Ferrigno asked for two things: a lawyer and a union rep. The officer, who told detectives he “was shaking and still in a state of shock,” was driven to the station and later sent home. Simmons, stripped naked by paramedics treating his wounds, was handcuffed and loaded into an ambulance. Although Simmons was the one who took three bullets, Ferrigno is listed as the victim in at least 65 police reports. Police said they had been searching for a man wanted for threatening a woman with a gun. Ferrigno had been shot at and returned fire, striking his alleged assailant three times, the reports said. When [Judge Melchor] Castro came to his hospital room in 2016 to explain the charges ... Simmons was incredulous. “What in the world are you talking about?” Simmons recalled telling the judge. “I’m the one who got shot.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
As white supremacists have carried out a growing number of deadly attacks in recent years, the FBI has come under mounting criticism for its failure to address the threat posed by far-right extremist ideologies, whose adherents account for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. At the same time, the bureau has also been heavily criticized for devoting large resources to surveilling political dissent by groups and individuals, often of color, who pose no threat but are critical of the government because they oppose official immigration policies or demand police accountability. The FBIs preoccupation with policing nonviolent critical ideologies while neglecting to investigate ideologies tied to real, and increasing, violence was perhaps best captured in an infamous 2017 threat assessment report warning law enforcement agencies of the supposed rise of a black identity extremist movement targeting police. The black identity extremism category was a product of the FBIs imagination. Last year ... bureau officials told legislators that they were doing away with a set of earlier domestic terrorism categories in favor of four larger ones. The FBIs fictional black identity extremists would now be lumped together with white supremacists under a new racially motivated violent extremism category. That false equivalence made it virtually impossible for the public to know whether the FBI was devoting resources to investigating real threats of racist violence or social and racial justice groups critical of government.
Note: Read a revealing essay on COINTELPRO, the FBI program that targeted civil rights and anti-war activists from 1965-1975. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
On May 31, the city of Chicago agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by two police officers who allege they suffered retaliation for reporting and investigating criminal activity by fellow officers. The settlement, for $2 million, was announced moments before the trial was to begin. As the trial date approached, city lawyers had made a motion to exclude the words code of silence from the proceedings. Not only was the motion denied, but the judge ruled that Mayor Rahm Emanuel could be called to testify about what he meant when he used the term in a speech. The prevailing narrative in the press was that the city settled in order to avoid the possibility that Mayor Emanuel would be compelled to testify. But the mayors testimony, had it come to pass, would have been unlikely to provide much illumination. By contrast, that of the plaintiffs, Shannon Spalding and Danny Echeverria, promised to ... show extraordinarily serious retaliatory misconduct by officers at nearly all levels of the CPD hierarchy. Spalding ... and her partner, Danny Echeverria, spent over five years working undercover on a joint FBI-CPD internal affairs investigation that uncovered a massive criminal enterprise within the department. A gang tactical team led by a sergeant named Ronald Watts operated a protection racket in public housing developments on Chicagos South Side. In exchange for a tax, Watts and his team shielded drug dealers from interference by law enforcement and targeted their competition. They were major players in the drug trade.
Note: Read the second article in this series titled "Corrupt Chicago Police Were Taxing Drug Dealers and Targeting Their Rivals." Read also how this criminal gang of police routinely framed people for crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As a police officer in a small Oregon town in 2004, Sean Sullivan was caught kissing a 10-year-old girl on the mouth. Mr. Sullivans sentence barred him from taking another job as a police officer. But three months later, [he was hired] as the police chief ... in Cedar Vale, Kan., [where] he was again investigated for a suspected sexual relationship with a girl and eventually convicted on charges that included burglary and criminal conspiracy. Some experts say thousands of law enforcement officers may have drifted from police department to police department even after having been fired, forced to resign or convicted of a crime. Yet there is no comprehensive, national system for weeding out problem officers. A lack of coordination among law enforcement agencies, opposition from police executives and unions, and an absence of federal guidance have meant that in many cases police departments do not know the background of prospective officers if they fail to disclose a troubled work history. Among the officers ... who have found jobs even after exhibiting signs that they might be ill suited for police work is Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. Before he was hired in Cleveland, Officer Loehmann had resigned from a suburban police force not long after a supervisor recommended that he be fired for, among other things, an inability to follow instructions. But Cleveland officials never checked his personnel file. Officer Loehmann, who was not indicted, remains on the Cleveland force.
Note: A yearlong Associated Press investigation found that the "broken system which lets problem officers jump from job to job" fosters and abets sexual abuse. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside. Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant. The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving. The device the Marshals Service and others are using [was] first designed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. They represent the latest example of battlefield technology finding its way home to civilian policing and bringing complex legal questions with it. Those concerns are especially thorny when it comes to technology that lets the police determine what's happening inside someone's home.
Note: This technology is not new. Working as interpreter in Washington, DC, WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks witnessed this technology being used by the police there in the late 1980s. Explore an informative ACLU report detailing the many surveillance technologies used by police which are often used illegally. For more along these lines, see this deeply revealing summarized NPR report about The Pentagon's massive Program 1033 to widely distribute military hardware to domestic police forces.
Civil asset forfeiture ... allows the government, without ever securing a conviction or even filing a criminal charge, to seize property. The practice ... has become a staple of law enforcement agencies because it helps finance their work. Under a Justice Department program, the value of assets seized has ballooned to $4.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year from $407 million in 2001. From Orange County, N.Y., to Rio Rancho, N.M., forfeiture operations are being established or expanded. Much of the nuts-and-bolts how-to of civil forfeiture is passed on in continuing education seminars for local prosecutors and law enforcement officials, some of which have been captured on video. In the sessions, officials ... offered advice on dealing with skeptical judges, mocked Hispanics whose cars were seized, and ... gave weight to the argument that civil forfeiture encourages decisions based on the value of the assets to be seized rather than public safety. Prosecutors boasted in the sessions that seizure cases were rarely contested or appealed. Civil forfeiture places the burden on owners, who must pay court fees and legal costs. And often the first hearing is presided over not by a judge but by the prosecutor whose office benefits from the proceeds. Mr. McMurtry [chief of the forfeiture unit in the Mercer County, N.J., prosecutors office] said his handling of a case is sometimes determined by department wish lists. If you want the car, and you really want to put it in your fleet, let me know Ill fight for it.
Note: Watch the video at the link above showing a trainer teaching cops how to steal a car that a cop might want legally. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and civil liberties news articles from reliable sources.
A former Metropolitan Police detective was removed from his post in an investigation into alleged child sex abuse after revealing politicians were suspects, he has claimed. Clive Driscoll, a Detective Chief Inspector who has since retired, [said] he was conducting an inquiry in 1998 into reported paedophile activity at childrens homes in Lambeth, south London, in the 1980s. Mr Driscoll said he had a list of suspects he wanted to look at, including local and national politicians in power during the period. Mr Driscoll said he had disclosed suspects names and was afterwards informed it was inappropriate and taken off the case. He added: "Whenever people spoke to you and shared their fears and their story about what they had seen, it was almost on the proviso that they wouldn't make a statement and that they would be scared if you released who those people were that were talking for fear of reprisals to both themselves and their families." Investigations are believed to have continued into more than 20 children's homes after Mr Driscoll was moved. Mr Driscoll ... claimed there were discussions within the Met about withholding documents from an independent inquiry into the original investigation. Some of the allegations could be considered in the Governments inquiry into allegations of an establishment cover-up of child abuse allegations. A spokesman at Scotland Yard said the Mets Directorate of Professional Standards was looking into Mr Driscolls claims and they would be fully investigated.
Note: If you are ready to see how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse news articles from reliable major media sources.
Officials in North Carolina are investigating how a teen allegedly shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said ... at a news conference that Jesus Huerta, 17, died of a self-inflicted gunshot [wound] to the head in November. Lopez said a handgun was found in the car and that Huerta was still handcuffed from behind, according to the station. "The medical examiner's office has confirmed that Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound to his head," Lopez said. "Whether that wound was accidental or intentional is unknown at this time." Huerta [had been] picked up early on Nov. 19 on a trespassing warrant stemming from a July incident, after family members reported concerns for his safety in a 911 call. Chief Lopez said Huerta was searched by police prior to the shooting incident and the weapon was not detected. "I know that it is hard for people not in law enforcement to understand how someone could be capable of shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back," Lopez said. "While incidents like this are not common, they unfortunately have happened in other jurisdictions in the past." Huertas family released a statement following the news conference. "How did Jesus end up dead in the parking lot at police headquarters in these circumstances? Searched. Handcuffed behind the back. How is it even possible to shoot oneself?" the statement reads.
Note: If, as the police chief states, other incidents of people shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back have happened, maybe it's time for a thorough investigation of these police forces. For more on the deadly corruption in the government-prison-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? The police have a special inclination toward confabulation ... because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldnt be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so. That may sound harsh, but numerous law enforcement officials have put the matter more bluntly. Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote [that] Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America. The New York City Police Department is not exempt from this critique. New York City officers have been found to engage in patterns of deceit in cases involving charges as minor as trespass. Jeannette Rucker, the chief of arraignments for the Bronx district attorney, explained in a letter that it had become apparent that the police were arresting people even when there was convincing evidence that they were innocent. To justify the arrests, Ms. Rucker claimed, police officers provided false written statements, and in depositions, the arresting officers gave false testimony.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on police and prisons corruption, click here.
Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of "promiscuity" with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years. The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups. Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners "as part of the job". His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists. The claims follow the unmasking of undercover PC Mark Kennedy, who had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating a ring of environmental activists. Another two covert officers have been named in the past fortnight who also had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on, fuelling allegations that senior officers had authorised sleeping around as a legitimate means of gathering intelligence.
Note: For a comprehensive overview of the still-ongoing revelations about police provocateur Mark Kennedy and his cohorts in the UK police infiltration of environmental and related activist groups, click here.
A highly-organised paedophile ring involving Victorian police and former politicians had been operating in the state since the 1970s, anti-child abuse groups claimed today. Dr Reina Michaelson of The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program (CSAPP) and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston today said they had been told by child sex abuse victims that former Victorian elected politicians and police members were involved in child pornography and prostitution. Dr Michaelson said she was working with child sex abuse victims who said they had witnessed significant police corruption and protection of paedophilia rings. The allegations come in response to a damning report released by Victoria's Ombudsman George Brouwer yesterday into Victoria Police's botched handling of four cases of child sex abuse. Ms Michaelson and Ms Johnston today called for the confidential Ombudsman's report to be made public and for a royal commission into child sexual abuse and corruption. "When problems within Victoria Police are shown to have extended into the investigation of serious sex crimes against children, as has been revealed by the Ombudsman's investigation, it is time for the Victorian government to act," Dr Michaelson said.
Note: Because of intense pressure from politicians and police and disturbing threats, Dr. Michaelson eventually gave up trying to push for justice in these sexual abuse cases. For lots more solid information on this disturbing news, click here and here. And if you are willing to explore how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here.
A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower courts decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test. This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class, Jordan said today from his Waterford home. I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else. Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training. The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average. Jordan alleged his rejection from the police force was discrimination. He sued the city, saying his civil rights were violated because he was denied equal protection under the law. But the U.S. District Court found that New London had shown a rational basis for the policy. In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover. Jordan has worked as a prison guard since he took the test.
Law enforcement frequently infiltrates progressive political movements using agent provocateurs who urge others to engage in violence. More rarely, such provocateurs commit acts of violence themselves. In protests across the country over the past week, the clear actor escalating the violence generally hasnt been a protester or even a right-wing infiltrator, but the police themselves. The best documented use of provocateurs by the U.S. government occurred during the Federal Bureau of Investigations Counter-Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, from 1956 to 1971. The reason the documentation is available is because a group of citizens broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania ... and stole files that they then passed to the media. In one notorious example in May 1970, an informant working for both the Tuscaloosa police and the FBI burned down a building at the University of Alabama during protests over the recent Kent State University shootings. The police then declared that demonstrators were engaging in an unlawful assembly and arrested 150 of them. The list goes on and on from there. Thirteen Black Panthers were accused of a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty after receiving 60 sticks of dynamite from an FBI informant. After 28 people broke into a federal building to destroy draft files in 1971, an FBI informant bragged, I taught them everything they knew. When and whether the FBI ever stopped, however, is an open question. In any case, police forces in the U.S. continued the same tactics.
Note: Read more about the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Police are violating no clearly established rights when they steal someones property after seizing it with a legal search warrant and, therefore, cant be sued in federal court, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate a suit against Fresno police by two people whose homes and business were searched in 2013 during a gambling investigation. After the search, three officers signed an inventory sheet saying they had seized about $50,000. But the two owners, Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who operated automatic teller machines ... said the officers had actually taken $276,000 - $151,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins - and pocketed the difference. Darrell York, Jessops and Ashjians attorney, said police and a city attorney denied that a theft occurred. Even if Kumagai and his fellow officers stole money and coins from Jessop and Ashjian, the appeals court said, the owners could not sue in federal court to get their money back. Such a suit would require proof that their constitutional rights were violated, the court said, and suits against police must clear the additional hurdle of showing that those rights were clearly established. The allegation of any theft by police officers - most certainly the theft of over $225,000 - is undoubtedly deeply disturbing, Judge Milan Smith said in the 3-0 ruling. Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendments prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, is not obvious.
Note: Read about "civil asset forfeiture" used by police to steal money and other private property for their departments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Now that we have built The Counted, a definitive record of people killed by police in the US this year, at least there is some accountability in America even if data from the rest of the world is still catching up. It is undeniable that police in the US often contend with much more violent situations and more heavily armed individuals than police in other developed democratic societies. Still, looking at our data for the US against admittedly less reliable information on police killings elsewhere paints a dramatic portrait: the US is not just some outlier in terms of police violence when compared with countries of similar economic and political standing. America is the outlier and this is what a crisis looks like. There were 59 fatal police shootings in the US for the days between 1 January and 24 January. According to data collected by the UK advocacy group Inquest, there have been 55 fatal police shootings total in England and Wales from 1990 to 2014. The US population is roughly six times that of England and Wales. According to the World Bank, the US has a per capita intentional homicide rate five times that of the UK. There has been just one fatal shooting by Icelandic police in the countrys 71-year history. The city of Stockton, California with 25,000 fewer residents than all of Iceland combined had three fatal encounters in the first five months of 2015. Police in the US have shot and killed more people in every week this year than are reportedly shot and killed by German police in an entire year.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
Should the government have to get a warrant before using a drone to spy on your home and backyard? We think so, and in an amicus brief filed last Friday in Long Lake Township v. Maxon, we urged the Michigan Supreme Court to find that warrantless drone surveillance of a home violates the Fourth Amendment. In this case, Long Lake Township hired private operators to repeatedly fly drones over Todd and Heather Maxon’s home to take aerial photos and videos of their property in a zoning investigation. The Township did this without a warrant and then sought to use this documentation in a court case against them. In our brief, we argue that the township’s conduct was governed by and violated the Fourth Amendment and the equivalent section of the Michigan Constitution. Drone prevalence has soared in recent years, fueled by both private and governmental use. We have documented more than 1,471 law enforcement agencies across the United States that operate drones. In some cities, police have begun implementing “drone as first responder” programs, in which drones are constantly flying over communities in response to routine calls for service. Authorities have routinely used aerial surveillance technologies against individuals participating in racial justice movements. Under this backdrop, states like Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Virginia have enacted statutes requiring warrants for police use of drones.
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