Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Court Upholds Domestic Drone Use in Arrest of American Citizen
US News ^ | August 2, 2012 | Jason Koebler

Posted on 08/02/2012 2:05:24 PM PDT by Myrddin

A North Dakota court has preliminarily upheld the first-ever use of an unmanned drone to assist in the arrest of an American citizen.

A judge denied a request to dismiss charges Wednesday against Rodney Brossart, a man arrested last year after a 16-hour standoff with police at his Lakota, N.D., ranch. Brossart's lawyer argued that law enforcement's "warrantless use of [an] unmanned military-like surveillance aircraft" and "outrageous governmental conduct" warranted dismissal of the case, according to court documents obtained by U.S. News.

[Photo Gallery: The Expansion of the Drone]

District Judge Joel Medd wrote that "there was no improper use of an unmanned aerial vehicle" and that the drone "appears to have had no bearing on these charges being contested here," according to the documents.

Court records state that last June, six cows wandered onto Brossart's 3,000 acre farm, about 60 miles west of Grand Forks. Brossart allegedly refused to return the cows, which led to a long, armed standoff with the Grand Forks police department. At some point during the standoff, Homeland Security, through an agreement with local police, offered up the use of an unmanned predator drone, which "was used for surveillance," according to the court documents.

Grand Forks SWAT team chief Bill Macki said in an interview that the drone was used to ensure Brossart and his family members, who were also charged, didn't leave the farm and were unarmed during the arresting raid.

[FAA Releases List of Registered Drone Operators]

Brossart faces felony terrorizing and theft of property charges and a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge. Although his charges weren't dismissed, Brossart won a motion to move the trial from Nelson County—which has a population of 3,100—to nearby Grand Forks County.

Brossart is believed to be the only American citizen who was arrested with the assistance of a drone on U.S. soil. John Villasenor, of the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, says the legality of domestic drone use likely stems from two Supreme Court cases that allow police to use "public, navigable airspace" for evidence gathering.

Domestic drone use has become a controversial topic over the past several months, with Congress directing the Federal Aviation Administration to devise guidelines for proper drone use.

[The Coming Drone Revolution: What You Should Know]

Wednesday, Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Edward Markey released a draft of a bill that would require private drone operators to inform the government of any data collected by drones and would require law enforcement to "minimize the collection … of information and data unrelated to the investigation of a crime."

States are "increasingly using unmanned aircraft systems in the United States, including deployments for law enforcement operations," according to the bill. There "is the potential for unmanned aircraft system technology to enable invasive and pervasive surveillance without adequate privacy protections."

In April, Brossart told U.S. News that he thought the SWAT team use of the drone was "definitely" illegal. Some estimates suggest that there may be as many as 30,000 unmanned drones operated in the United States by 2020 for uses such as wildfire containment and surveillance, law enforcement, and surveying.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2012; 4thamendment; 666; donutwatch; drone; fourthamendment; govtabuse; rapeofliberty; tyranny; waronliberty
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-39 next last
Apparently putting a drone with surveillance equipment over your private property is not considered a violation of the 4th Amendment. Wait until they can put a small quad rotor with a camera right up to a rear facing window where line of sight from a public street would be impossible.
1 posted on 08/02/2012 2:05:33 PM PDT by Myrddin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

We don’t own the airspace above our houses, so...


2 posted on 08/02/2012 2:09:49 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Eat Mor Chikin!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin
small quad rotor with a camera right up to a rear facing window

The last frame the camera will show will be a cat with claws outstreched, and jaws open.

I figured out early on that the little electric RC helicopters were a bad idea in the house. They just don't make 'em strong enough.

Gonna be lots of different kinds of accidents happen to their equipment if they push it.

/johnny

3 posted on 08/02/2012 2:11:42 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandyInSeattle

What about air rights?


4 posted on 08/02/2012 2:11:54 PM PDT by meatloaf (Support Senate S 1863 & House Bill 1380 to eliminate oil slavery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

Just remember this was an ongoing armed standoff.

If it had been a manned police helicopter would that have been OK? Or for any armed standoff anywhere, should a warrant be required for use of any aircraft to observe the standoff?

Is it just “directly over” your private property (do you own the airspace and space all the way above your property to the moon?) Or is it allowed if you’re flying the aircraft over public property off to the side and looking at your property?


5 posted on 08/02/2012 2:15:09 PM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Gonna be lots of different kinds of accidents happen to their equipment if they push it.

Be Prepared. Have a tennis racket handy. Get one before they outlaw them.

6 posted on 08/02/2012 2:15:33 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Help. How do I put something in my tagline.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin
Court Upholds Domestic Drone Use in Arrest of American Citizen

A first step on a very slippery slope that will result in tyranny.

7 posted on 08/02/2012 2:17:00 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty ("Get that evil, foreign, muslim, usurping bastard out of MY White House!" FUBO GTFO!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandyInSeattle
We don’t own the airspace above our houses, so...

Where is the boundary? The highest point on the structure approved and constructed on the property? The highest tree on the property? There must be some boundary between "public airspace" and my private property. Perhaps it will be necessary to put up some bird netting to define your space.

8 posted on 08/02/2012 2:17:26 PM PDT by Myrddin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

Like it or not, it’s just another technology.

I think they should have waited and handled it through mediation, but on the other hand, the guy was definitely in the wrong and was menacing, so this wasn’t an arbitrary action.

We can never stop a new technology. The only thing we can and must do is to make sure it is used for legitimate purposes, and not used to enforce the whims of the reigning Dem honcho of the moment.


9 posted on 08/02/2012 2:18:04 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

All this over six head of cattle? WTF? Why the hell wouldnt he give/take them back to the rightful owners?


10 posted on 08/02/2012 2:19:55 PM PDT by crz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: UCANSEE2
I got catz. You have no idea how frustrating it is to spend a couple of century notes on something, only to have it swatted out of the air and fairly well destroyed in the first 30 minutes. ;)

'Sides, I got bird shot for the 12 ga. if I really need it. (Thanks coach for the trap and skeet club in high school)

/johnny

11 posted on 08/02/2012 2:21:29 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/207721/group/homepage/


12 posted on 08/02/2012 2:24:48 PM PDT by crz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

Big Brother is watching.


13 posted on 08/02/2012 2:24:59 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Too many thinking Freepers have left the building...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

The only thing that bothers me is that, how does the DHS presume involvement in a non-Federal criminal matter? If a local police department or even a State agency own a drone, that’s one thing. But I’m not necessarily comfortable with the Feds poking their noses into everything.


14 posted on 08/02/2012 2:27:50 PM PDT by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin

When I was a kid, during the “War on Drugs” the local county bought an ultra-light to cruise the tree tops looking for pot farms. Every once in a while you’d see an article in the paper about a bust that always seemed to yield millions in street value. I don’t know if it was really successful, but where I was raised, if it flew slow your weapon was at hand and you were bored, an ultra-light would be a pretty tasty target. I bet a drone would be the same.


15 posted on 08/02/2012 2:29:13 PM PDT by rem_mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: meatloaf

Air rights? I don’t understand your question.


16 posted on 08/02/2012 2:30:24 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Eat Mor Chikin!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: onedoug
how does the DHS presume involvement in a non-Federal criminal matter?

I believe their assistance was requested by the locals. They didn't butt in uninvited.

17 posted on 08/02/2012 2:31:54 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Eat Mor Chikin!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin
Where is the boundary?

Offhand, I don't know. The FAA could probably tell you.

18 posted on 08/02/2012 2:33:12 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Eat Mor Chikin!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SandyInSeattle; meatloaf
"We don’t own the airspace above our houses, so..."

And even if we did, the airspace above a public road close to your house, would be sufficient to observe everything except a small triangle in the shadow of your house.

Best to simply restrict the warrant-less use of drones for surveillance on homes as unreasonable search and seizure, than to rely on airspace rights.

19 posted on 08/02/2012 2:35:51 PM PDT by DannyTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DannyTN

Best to simply restrict the warrant-less use of drones for surveillance on homes as unreasonable search and seizure, than to rely on airspace rights.

___________________

agree so much.


20 posted on 08/02/2012 2:39:10 PM PDT by Chickensoup (STOP The Great O-ppression)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-39 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson