New law permits North Dakota cop drones to fire beanbag rounds from the sky

To pass new warrant requirement, lawmaker compromised to allow less-than-lethals.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: arstechnica.com

North Dakota is believed to be the first state in the union to allow such weapons aboard state and local police drones.  However alleged non-lethal weapons just don’t perform in that manner according to the research; Such non-lethal weapons have been shown that they can, in fact, kill people. Research done by The Guardian, 39 Americans have died this year alone at the hands of police wielding a Taser. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported Wednesday that more than 20 North American cities are pursuing large silicone-based projectiles as yet another alternative weapon.  –  The Peace Garden State has become something of a hub for drone research and development. It offers a bachelor’s degree in “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” at the University of North Dakota, while the state’s Air National Guard unit hosts a number of MQ-1 Predator drones. The state also hosts the country’s only Federal Aviation Administration-approved drone testing site that can fly both during the day and at night.   “It really takes a very subtle situational awareness to understand when it’s ok to use less-than-lethal,” Ryan Calo, a law professor and drone expert at the University of Washington, told Ars.  “The problem is that it will be used too often because the perception that the stakes are not very high, because sometimes less-than-lethal can be lethal.  So it strikes me that putting less-than-lethals on drones creates a double remove: the officer doesn’t have situational awareness, and they don’t know whether a conversation could de-escalate [the situation]. That’s one thing, and second, the fact that it’s less-than-lethals will mean that [police will] hesitate less and will use it more often.

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