Case dismissed. George Steinmetz gets his DJI Mavic 2 Pro back!


Back in April, as he was taking aerial photos of the mass burials on Hart Island, award-winning National Geographic and New York Times photographer, George Steinmetz had his DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone confiscated by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Update: There has been some confusion as to what drone exactly was confiscated. An earlier version of this article mentioned it was a DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian. I emailed George Steinmetz and he replied saying that it was indeed a DJI Mavic 2 Pro as we originally reported.

It was a Mavic 2 Pro. – George

Case dismissed. George Steinmetz gets his DJI Mavic 2 Pro back!

Kara Murphy reports for DPReview that Steinmetz was issued a desk ticket for violating NYC Administrative Code § 10–126, which prohibits the takeoff and landing of drones within New York City.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for early August. The NYPD, however, had kept Steinmetz’s drone DJI Mavic 2 Pro as evidence, forcing the famous aerial photographer to buy a new drone.

Case Dismissed. George Steinmetz Gets His Dji Mavic 2 Pro Back! 1

Steinmetz ended up buying two new DJI Mavic 2 Pro drones after an unsuccessful attempt to get the Mavic 2 drone back from the NYPD. He explained, “I need to get back to work.” Steinmetz added:

‘The Mavic 2 Pro is in a real sweet spot for me. I prefer the optics and files from the big bird, the Inspire 2 with the X7 gimbal. But the Mav 2 flies really well, has a decent file…the compactness is quite revolutionary.’

Fortunately, the story ended well as Steinmetz recently and suddenly got his drone back from the NYPD. He told DPReview that:

‘My case was spontaneously dismissed last week [the week of August 7th, 2020], so I went down to the Bronx Police HQ on Wednesday and recovered it. During the time it was confiscated I had to buy a replacement to keep working, and don’t know if I will pursue any further legal action.’

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Photo: NY Post

About the author

Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.


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  • It was the DJI Inspire 2 that was confiscated…. He says that in his quote. Look it up, the remote controller for the Inspire 2 is also the remote controller he is holding in the top cover photo.

  • It was not his Inspire 2. Read the follow up comment with him confirming the Mavic 2 was confiscated. He even mentions he both a replacement because even though he prefers the Inspire 2 with X7 gimbal/camera the smaller drone fills a niche fir hin.

    The initial reporting confused the issue of which drone by mentioning the Phantom series.