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In a previous post (Is America Becoming a Police State) I chronicled the phenomenal growth of police SWAT teams and their tendency not to stay in barracks. And the inevitable, tragic consequences when “no-knock” raids become the norm. But does anyone listen to me? Obviously not. ‘Cause now we’re looking at a new tool in their arsenal that takes SWAT-mania to a new level: overhead. “The ShadowHawk comes in four different flavors with different options for outfitting,” reports. “The military and law enforcement can opt to add an XREP taser, 37mm or 40mm grenade launchers . . . or [a] multiple shot 12 gauge shotgun.” Needless to say, our Fast and Furious Friends at the DHS are down with this (your tax money hard at work) and a Texas SWAT team can’t wait . . .

As a sign of new law enforcement tactics to come, the Sheriff’s Office of Montgomery County, Texas was recently awarded a grant by the Department of Homeland Security for a squadron of ShadowHawks. Montgomery County’s Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel is psyched. “We are very excited about the funding and looking forward to placing the equipment into the field. Both my narcotics and SWAT units have been looking at numerous ways to deploy it and I absolutely believe it will become a critical component on all SWAT callouts and narcotics raids and emergency management operations.”

Like so many media outlets, dwells not upon the Orwellian aspects of an armed SWAT drone. Like so many reporters, author Peter Murray never stops to question the logic that drives these militarized police tactics forward: if you’re not a criminal, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, he concludes with such self-righteous glee that he fails to see the danger he highlights.

As more drones like ShadowHawk take to the sky over our cities and that high-pitched whine draws terribly closer, probably best to just lay down, hands on your head, feet spread apart.

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  1. Put bean-counters in charge, and you destroy a product / company from the inside chasing that ever-elusive “more for less” mantra. Put the hawks in charge, and you convert a locale / country into a police state, chasing that ever-elusive “safer! safer!” mantra. If all you have is a hammer, all your problems begin to look like nails.

  2. This will just spur competition. As someone will market their own drones to the other side. You can purchase kits and build your own. Pretty soon you will have anti-drone drones. Kamikaze drones to take out the other drones.

  3. I’m not really worried about the police having them, I’m more worried about the day when someone decides to give them AI and they become self aware.

  4. Hardly need a 12 gauge. It wouldn’t be terribly difficult to figure out what probably-GHz-spectrum radio frequencies are used to control them, and, ah.. play your own tune, as it were.

    .. which I’m sure will be a triple-A double-serious overtime felony before long.

    • Modern radio controlled aircraft (civilian version) use not only unique frequencies but send signals in encrypted code, with a receiver that will only take directions from the right controller. Developed primarily because old radio control frequencies limited the amount of planes you could put in the air at the local club event. It would take a little more than finding the right radio frequency to take over one of those.


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