When lawmakers in Connecticut sat down to write a bill that would ban weaponized drones, they made one exception – and that was for law enforcement agencies. The current bill would allow police to equip drones with weapons that could inflict deadly force.
There are currently weaponized drones bans in 36 other states in the county and only four have set guidelines that allow limited use of weaponized drones for law enforcement. Only weapons such as pepper spray, rubber bullets, or tear gas are allowed. If the Connecticut bill is enacted, it would be the first in the country to allow deadly force weapons on drones.
Many civil liberties groups, including the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) oppose the bill. They say that given the statistics and research of how law enforcement unfairly targets minorities, the fear is that use of these weaponized drones would be focusing on minorities communities, putting those that live there in an even higher risk of the misuse of deadly force than currently exists.
Opponents also point to how using drones that have been weaponized takes the human element out of the decision to use deadly force on a suspect, saying it makes the decision to shoot at a suspect easier when it is not the officer actually doing the shooting, but the drone.
Attorney Sherman recently commented on the bill, “I strongly question why law enforcement would need a deadly force weaponized drone and agree with the ACLU and other opponents that these drones could be used in the wrong way in certain communities.”