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Police Militarization Takes Big Jump: Weaponized Drones Authorized — With Tasers, Tear Gas, Rubber Bullet, Bean Bags, Will Also Be Used To Spy On Citizens

The law allowing drones to attack and spy on citizens was allegedly "forced" on North Dakota state legislators by "pro-police" groups. It was signed into law by the governor. The original law was supposed to keep weapons off drones. This demonstrates how the money of lobbyists can achieve the opposite of what was originally intended by sponsors of a bill.

Police in North Dakota can now legally target American citizens with  remote controlled aerial vehicles.
(Photo by Debra Sweet)
By Laura Wagner
With the passage of a new law earlier this year, North Dakota has become the first state to legalize law enforcement use of armed drones.
RELATED STORY: First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to a Lobbyist
Though the law limits the type of weapons permitted to those of the "less than lethal" variety — weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers — the original bill actually aimed to ensure that no weapons at all were allowed on law enforcement drones.

The sponsor of the original bill, Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, said he wasn't happy with how that part of the law turned out.

A typical police commando unit (SWAT) is more heavily armed than US troops were
in Iraq. (Photo by OR Dept of Trans)
"In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period," Becker said at a hearing in March, according to The Daily Beast.

Originally, the intent of the bill was to require police to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to look for evidence. It also prohibited weapons aboard drones.

But to get a measure passed that would require search warrants, Becker had to compromise on the weapons issue.

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