Tags: George Floyd Protests | national guard | california | black lives matter | spy planes | el dorado hills

Report: National Guard Sent Spy Planes to Monitor BLM Protests

lakota helicopters fly above trees
Lakota helicopters take off from the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Austin, Texas. (Amanda Voisard/AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 19 October 2020 01:04 PM

The National Guard reportedly deployed spy planes to monitor Black Lives Matter protests, including a small, peaceful rally that took place near the home of the head of its California branch last summer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Times found that three RC-26B reconnaissance planes were sent to monitor protests over the death of George Floyd that took place in Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C., last June, all of which at some point turned violent. A fourth plane and a Lakota helicopter were later sent to the affluent Sacramento suburb of El Dorado Hills, which had experienced no violent protests but is where California National Guard head Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin lives.

One unnamed Guard officer told the Times that the surveillance "was a waste of time" and that the crew "didn't see anything" apart from peaceful rallies. Another officer questioned why they weren't helping Los Angeles, Oakland, or San Francisco, where protesters had been clashing with police.

Although the spy plane and helicopter were requested by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, Baldwin is the officer listed as authorizing their deployment. He told the Times that he does not recall approving the mission and insisted that it had "nothing to do with" his living in the area.

"El Dorado Hills was the most monitored place in California," said Dan Woodside, a recently retired Guard pilot. "What was the threat? They are absolutely covering this up."

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The National Guard reportedly deployed spy planes to monitor Black Lives Matter protests, including a small, peaceful rally that took place near the home of the head of its California branch last summer, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Times found that three RC-26B...
national guard, california, black lives matter, spy planes, el dorado hills
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2020-04-19
Monday, 19 October 2020 01:04 PM
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