How far can law enforcement go in flying drones over public protests or rallies?
In Hartford, there are no rules. And while police are still months away from using the machines to fight crime, concerns about them have started to mount.
Skeptics fear the devices will have a chilling effect on protests, that they could undermine Hartford’s reputation as a welcoming city for immigrants and that they would violate people’s privacy.
Days after learning that Hartford had received a state grant to purchase two drones – and as many as 200 new cameras – the head of Connecticut’s American Civil Liberties Union authored an Internet post on the pitfalls of increased surveillance.
The flood of new cameras, paired with the drones, “could be a nightmare for anyone who cares about safety, justice, equality and freedom,” executive director David McGuire wrote. He worried the city would prioritize