“It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist,” thedailybeast.com reports. “Bruce Burkett of North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. ‘Less than lethal’ weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.” On the positive side . . .
the Bill – now signed into law – prohibits the use of aerial footage in criminal prosecutions unless the footage was obtained as part of a search warrant. And it can’t be used to get a search warrant. Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., exigent circumstances, routine monitoring of borders, research or educational flights). So it’s a good law that somehow forgot to prohibit police drones equipped with non-lethal weapons. “Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost said his department’s drones are only equipped with cameras and he doesn’t think he should need a warrant to go snooping.” But he does. Thankfully. [h/t Oneifbyland1776]