Police wanted 10 days to disclose secret drone surveillance, but Virginia senators say no – Virginian


RICHMOND

A bill intended to set rules for police drone searches died Monday after state senators argued it would violate Virginians’ rights.

The Senate Courts of Justice committee killed the measure, which would have allowed police to delay disclosing a search warrant authorizing drone surveillance for up to 10 days.

“There’s this thing called the Fourth Amendment… I feel this is gutting it,” said state Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, referring to the Bill of Rights’ ban on warrantless searches.

He said the General Assembly had clearly limited police use of drones several years ago, because of its Fourth Amendment concerns.

“Could you look into somebody’s bedroom window with this?” asked committee Chairman Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg.

Derek Colvin, a senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney from Suffolk who was there to support the bill, said it would not rule out that kind of police

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