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The recent announcement that India (a constitutional republic) has now green-lighted drones for controlling "unruly crowds" in its northern capital Lucknow should get any skeptic's attention. Incidentally, even among highly populated India, the Uttar Pradesh region is a populous area of 204 million people, putting it into the range of most of the United States.
It should be noted that India is by no means the first to consider drones for crowd dispersal or suppression. In 2014, drone maker Desert Wolf sent the drone pictured below to Turkey as well as to South Africa to potentially be used to quell dissent, which in South Africa included platinum miners who were on strike:
"We have purchased five drone cameras with capacity of lifting two kg weight. They can be used to shower pepper powder on an unruly mob in case of any trouble ...."
Back in 2012 the following comments were made regarding the use of a Vanguard Shadowhawk drone in Texas, which fortunately earned massive condemnation and a stop to any concrete plans:
While the drone is currently being used for surveillance purposes only, law enforcement officials are considering utilizing these weapons systems. "It might be advantageous to have this type of 'less lethal' weapons platform on the UAV," said Randy McDaniel, the chief deputy for the Montgomery County Sherriff's Department, in an interview with The Daily. (Source)
The "weapons platform" included rubber bullets, taser, and tear gas. But its ultimate potential was slated to be far worse: According to Salon, an Ohio police lieutenant interested in the drone was told by Vanguard representatives that it is also capable of carrying grenade launchers and 12-gauge shotguns.
The documents, obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act request, show the CPB suggesting in a “law enforcement sensitive” report to Congress that its drones could be upgraded to include the weapons to shoot at “targets of interest.” The documents do not detail specific weapons, but “non-lethal” rounds deployed on drones could feasibly include rubber bullets, tear gas, or a Taser-like shock. [emphasis added]http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/07/03/documents_show_customs_and_border_protection_considered_weaponized_domestic.html
VICTORIA Police is considering introducing unmanned drone aircraft to assist in operations, following the lead of US authorities who from tomorrow will begin using them for surveillance, searches and car chases.
Victoria Police has confirmed it is assessing so-called unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for ''potential operational use''. But in a written response to questions from The Sunday Age, a Victoria Police spokeswoman did not spell out what kind of operations. Nor did she reveal how far police plans had advanced. It is, however, the most explicit statement so far on Victoria Police's interest in acquiring high-tech, remote-controlled drones that can be fitted with high-definition cameras and sensors - and, in some larger versions, weapons.
Other agencies, including Queensland police and arms of the Australian Federal Police, are also interested in acquiring drones.
originally posted by: Sremmos80
a reply to: Indigent
I don't like the idea of taking the person out of enforcement.
Law enforcement has lots of grey area that a person has to use judgement to asses.
Drones can't do that. Nor not follow orders they don't agree with.
I am by far not LEO's # 1 fan, but would still rather see men and women doing the job not drones.
People at the controls are nothing more than psychopaths without a hip holster. Think about it...What type of personality signs up to monitor/kill their fellow humans?