North Dakota law enforcement officers are now legally allowed to fire “less-than-lethal” weapons at suspects via drones, the Daily Beast is reporting. Under the new law, rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers would all be permitted.
Representative Rick Becker, the author of the bill (H.B. 1328), originally wanted to prohibit police drones from carrying any weapons. But under heavy pressure from law enforcement and drone industry lobbyists, the bill was altered.
“This is one I’m not in full agreement with. I wish it was any weapon,” Becker said at a hearing earlier this year. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period.”
While the bill is sure to draw the ire of opponents of police militarization, I think it’s important to remember the unprecedented violence the state is facing. Do I need to remind you about that crime-syndicate shootout back in 2006 that left 22 people dead?
Clearly, North Dakota’s police need every tool at their disposal.
(Source: The Daily Beast)