The New York City Police Department (NYPD) will use surveillance drones to monitor outdoor parties and barbecues this holiday weekend.

NYPD plans to use the drones to respond to complaints about large parties during Labor Day weekend.

“If a caller states there’s a large crowd, a large party in a backyard, we’re going to be utilizing our assets to go up and go check on the party,” Kaz Daughtry, the assistant NYPD Commissioner, said at a press conference.


This is unconstitutional and a complete invasion of privacy.

Advocates have called the NYPD’s usage of surveillance drones a “sci-fi scenario.”


AP reports:

The plan drew immediate backlash from privacy and civil liberties advocates, raising questions about whether such drone use violated existing laws for police surveillance

“It’s a troubling announcement and it flies in the face of the POST Act,” said Daniel Schwarz, a privacy and technology strategist at the New York Civil Liberties Union, referring to a 2020 city law that requires the NYPD to disclose its surveillance tactics. “Deploying drones in this way is a sci-fi inspired scenario.”

The move was announced during a security briefing focused on J’ouvert, an annual Caribbean festival marking the end of slavery that brings thousands of revelers and a heavy police presence to the streets of Brooklyn. Daughtry said the drones would respond to “non-priority and priority calls” beyond the parade route.

Like many cities, New York is increasingly relying on drones for policing purposes. Data maintained by the city shows the police department has used drones for public safety or emergency purposes 124 times this year, up from just four times in all of 2022. They were spotted in the skies after a parking garage collapse earlier this year and when a giveaway event devolved into teenage mayhem.

Government will always use ’emergencies’ to justify violating our inalienable rights if we don’t hold them accountable.

No emergency trumps the U.S. Constitution, which is supposed to keep public servants in their box.

ABC 7 noted comments from New York City Mayor Eric Adams:

Mayor Eric Adams says he wants the NYPD to embrace the use of drones, citing Israel’s use of the technology after his visit last month.

“Government is too big and too powerful, but people have empowered officials and accepted a lesser role. Not good for freedom & basic rights,” said New York GOP First Vice Chairman John Burnett.

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