It was hard to hear what Assistant Seattle Police Chief Paul McDonagh was trying to say last night about how the city hopes to use drones to save lives and increase public safety — what with the chanting of “no drones” and the loud cries of “murderer” and “shame” drowning him out, says the Seattle Times. The first community meeting seeking public opinion on plans to use unmanned aerial systems, or drones, for law enforcement was taken over by protesters who prevented McDonagh from talking for more than half of the two-hour meeting.
“We don’t trust you with the weapons you do have,” shouted a man who said his name was General Malaise. “We are not going to tolerate this in our city. This is unacceptable,” yelled Emma Kaplan from The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality. “NO DRONES!” “Hasn’t anyone heard of George Orwell’s 1984?” asked a man who gave his name only as Matt. E. “This is the militarization of our streets and now the air above us.” The Police Department bought two 3.5-pound Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Techs in 2010 with money from a regional Urban Area Security Initiative grant and then applied for federal approval to use them.