A loud demonstration against LAPD drones was held in downtown Los Angeles Thursday.
A loud demonstration against LAPD drones was held in downtown Los Angeles Thursday. Protesters came out in full force, letting the mayor and police chief know they don’t want drones in the city.
About two dozen protesters gathered at the steps of L.A. City Hall, part of a group called No Drones LA, community activists who want the city to enact regulations banning the use of drones by the LAPD.
Organizer Jamie Garcia says drones don’t belong in law enforcement.
“When a drone is flying into a hostage situation, what is going to happen to the data of the surveilling area that they collect,” said Garcia.
At issue, a pair of drones that were given to the LAPD earlier this summer. The Seattle Police Department gave the camera-equipped, unmanned vehicles to L.A. after residents in Seattle voiced their opposition to the technology.
Organizers of Thursday’s demonstration say the LAPD should never have accepted the gift.
Back in June, when the donated drones were announced, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said they can be beneficial. But the LAPD doesn’t have the drones. The FAA is storing them.
As part of Thursday’s demonstration, about 15 protesters tried to deliver a letter of demands to Mayor Eric Garcetti.
But they weren’t allowed inside City Hall. Police said the group’s bullhorns, banners and paper-mache drones were too disruptive.
Eventually a representative from the mayor’s office met with the demonstrators and promised to deliver their letter to the mayor.
“No decisions have been made, and before they are, we’re going to have a lengthy approval process,” said LAPD spokesman Officer Bruce Borihahn.
The L.A. Police Commission has said they will hold public hearings to try to come up with policy regarding use of drones in law enforcement.