The drone fleet will be used for “searches and rescues, car crash investigations, crime scene documentation, evidence searches at hard-to-access locales, hazardous materials calls, monitoring crowds at large events, hostage and barricaded-suspect incidents, and other emergency situations” the NYPD chief approves.
But the unmanned aerial vehicles to be placed in the hands of the NYPD, are stoking serious concerns about unregulated surveillance among civil libertarians and progressives. The nation’s largest police department—sued in 2012 for illegally spying on New York City Muslims—attempted to quell down fears by insisting that the drones will not be used for unlawful surveillance.
“Let me be clear,” chief of department Terence Monahan told reporters, “NYPD drones will not be used for warrantless surveillances.”
But civil libertarians are not buying it.
“The NYPD’s drone policy