The Customs and Border Protection Predator B drone that appeared over Minneapolis last Friday to provide live video to law enforcement on the ground was called back, said a senior spokesperson.
Customs and Border Protection Predator B drone over Minneapolis
CNN reported that the Customs and Border Protection agency deployed the drone to provide “situational awareness” for federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis, according to the spokesperson.
The drone was witnessed circling Minneapolis earlier in the day by civil rights and government oversight groups who then raised alarm.
“The government seems to want to be able to be monitoring the crowds and monitoring what people are doing,” said Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan government watchdog group. He said this kind of surveillance raises concerns about potential retribution and the chilling effect on protests.
Not long after the Predator B drone had arrived in the Minneapolis airspace, the CPB was informed that it was no longer needed and the drone returned to its base in Nort Dakota
The Predator B drone can provide high-quality streaming video to law enforcement as it can “assess critical infrastructure before and after events,” which makes it “an ideal aircraft to aid in emergency preparations and recovery operations.”
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