Tags: George Floyd Protests | drones | customs and border patrol | protests

Drones Used For Safety, Not Surveillance During Protests

an aerial view of protesters is shown in new york
An aerial view of protesters marching on June 04, 2020 in Merrick, New York. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 June 2020 03:44 PM

Protesters who saw drones monitoring from above were not under surveillance, ABC News reports.

Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told ABC News that CBP drones were used to monitor protests not spy on “lawful peaceful protesters.”

Morgan said anyone claiming the drones were conducting surveillance is stating a “false narrative.”

House Democrats raised concerns about the presence of drones during protests in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. People have been calling for anti-police brutality measures to be put in place in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white former police officer.

"We were not providing any resources to surveil lawful peaceful protesters,” he said. “That's not what we were doing.”

Morgan said the agency was helping more than a dozen cities by "providing assistance to state and locals so they could make sure that their cities and their towns were protected."

A drone was used to help police officers in Buffalo, NY track down and arrest a driver who ran over a group of police officers, he said.

"We weren't taking any information on law abiding protesters, but we were absolutely there to ensure that the safety of folks there as well as to enforce, and make sure law and order remain," he said.

Morgan also told ABC News that there is no systematic racism in law enforcement.  

"What is systematic is that men and women in this profession, are law enforcement professionals who get up every single day. They put a badge on their chest, and they go answer the call, to help people that often can't help themselves," he said. "And they run towards danger, they don't run away from it, and they're not asking, when they're running towards a danger to help somebody, they're not asking what their race, creed, color or sexual orientation is, all they see is a human being in need of assistance, and they're running to it."

But he did say he offered to work with lawmakers on police reform initiatives.

"We need to keep talking, we need to keep engaging, but we need to do so in an honest way and we need to recognize that not all cops are bad," he said. 

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Protesters who saw drones monitoring from above were not under surveillance, ABC News reports.
drones, customs and border patrol, protests
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 03:44 PM
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