Statement Regarding Defeat of Bill to Allow Police to Weaponize Drones

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2017

CONTACT:
Meghan Smith, 860-992-7645, msmith@acluct.org

HARTFORD — The Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee today voted to reject H.B. 7260, a drone regulation bill that originally protected privacy rights, but was amended to allow police to equip drones with lethal and “less lethal” weapons. With today’s committee vote, the bill is defeated. The following is a reaction from David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut:

“Today, the legislature sent a loud and clear message that Connecticut does not need and will not accept police equipping drones with weapons. The defeat of this police drone weaponization proposal is a victory for public safety and civil rights.

Connecticut does not need police wielding flying weapons in our towns and communities. Our state does need strong police accountability, transparency, and oversight to build public trust in law enforcement.

The key privacy concerns addressed by this underlying bill remain. Connecticut residents still need and deserve protection from intrusive police drone spying. With four Connecticut police departments using drones right now, privacy protections from police drones remain a problem in need of a solution.”