On a recent walk down Broadway near the AN offices in Lower Manhattan I was handed a flyer by The Granny Peace Brigade who were protesting in front of a building where several New York City Council Members have offices. The flyer claims in bold letters “High Tech Stop and Frisk: Domestic Drones Coming to Your Neighborhood?” It had an image of a LEAPP Drone made by Brooklyn Navy Yard–based Atair Aerospace who claim their powered paraglider “is a slow-flying, long endurance powered paraglider UAV [Unarmed Aerial Vehicle] platform that is used for ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance] and distributive operations payload delivery missions,” but that the Brigade believes could be used to monitor for loitering.
The Granny’s claim “Predator drones assassinate people designated as terrorists, who have never been lawfully charged nor tried. And there is a grave danger that drones will come home.” They are asking the New York City Council to declare the city a “No Drone Zone,” and for the public to write their City Council representative and ask them sponsor such a resolution. Given New York’s controversial stop and frisk policy it is not too early to be concerned with this drone threat. It does seem inevitable that if this technology is used but the U.S. military it will someday come home to local police forces.