General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

How would you like a police drone to spy on your backyard picnic?

Asked by elbanditoroso (32772points) 3 weeks ago
15 responses
“Great Question” (2points)


Seems a lot like 1984, 39 years later.

The problem I have is that if the police can spy on your party (without a warrant), they can also spy on you sunbathing, see what’s in your back yard, observe you coming and going…

Does this scare you?

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kritiper's avatar

Nothing to see here.

LadyMarissa's avatar

They’ll be watching you in your bedroom next!!!

jca2's avatar

From what I understand from friends that live in the city, some of these parties are loud and go all night, which is a big disruption for people who want to sleep at a decent hour. I guess (just a guess) that for the cops, instead of having to deal with returning to houses, knocking on doors, people not answering the doors, and taking up time dealing with the same issue over and over (disturbing the peace, pissed off neighbors), they do the drone thing to try to assess the situation and aide with their patrols.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

That drone would be on the ground if I see it. Clear civil rights violation. Something we should not stand for and should openly protest. That said, I’ll be the first to tell you that privacy does not exist anymore. We lost it.

Caravanfan's avatar

What @jca2 said.

jca2's avatar

The news I watch (the news I get) is the NYC news and right now, 11 pm news, they’re saying that they are or were using the drone to check on the Electric Zoo festival which was this weekend. The drone was watching to make sure the festival wasn’t overcrowded, to avert disaster. There was a problem today and all entrances were closed (Sunday) because of “oversold tickets” but the NYPD Commissioner was on the news saying the drone was watching the crowd to make sure there was no overcrowding. When you think about it, police on the ground are not as well equipped to assess crowds as a drone would be.

filmfann's avatar

A neighbor used to nude sunbathe, and we could tell because the Oakland Police helicopter would be hovering above her house.

Zaku's avatar

Agree, it’s awful, a misuse of police resources, an unreasonable privacy violation, an attempt to encroach upon expectations of privacy and unreasonable search norms, and ought not to be done, allowed, nor tolerated.

SnipSnip's avatar

I don’t think drones should be allowed over private property at all. I should be able to shoot one down if it’s over my yard. Public spaces are fine to buzz around (parks, beaches, etc.) People must fight to keep personal privacy alive and well.

seawulf575's avatar

It seems like another effort to push the boundaries to make new boundaries. All the reasoning that is being presented makes no sense. The article says they are doing this to help ease some of the demands on the police force for the weekend. If there is a loud party that causes neighbors to complain, sending a drone does nothing. It does not tell the partiers they are outside the acceptable bounds of time/noise and it doesn’t tell the complaining neighbors that anyone is doing anything. It will still require a cop to go warn the partiers or to issue citations. If there is a festival going on and it is outside the occupancy, a drone flying over doesn’t do anything about it. It will still require a cop to go clean up the discrepancy. And each drone still requires a cop to fly it and to document any/all violations that are seen.

What it DOES is makes seeing drones flying overhead a new normal. It justifies something that will likely get abused by officials later on.

jca2's avatar

Here’s an article from before the West Indian Day parade (where drones were used), from the NY Post, about the drones. I normally am not a fan of the NY Post because it’s a conservative paper, but it is a “boots on the ground” paper as far as NY news. I can link a NY Times article but there’s a paywall, and I don’t think the Post has that. The article talks about the advantage of drones over police cars (for example, police cars having to navigate through crowded street traffic).

jca2's avatar

Edit to add, if you’ve ever been to NYC during a big event (festival, parade, holiday), you know that it’s so packed with cars and people, traffic just does not move at all. Traffic will move a few cars and then there’s a red light, and if there are road closures from the holiday or parade or whatever, it’s totally red on Waze maps, just does not move at all – light turns green, nobody moves.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 I understand the traffic in NYC. Been there, done that. But that is why police have horses and bicycles…to move through congestion faster than a car can. But the question was about using drones to spy on backyard parties. The article cited gives that too. Even the NY Post article you cited says that. They don’t say “spy” and they say they will be up in the air not seeing what’s on the grill. But these things have cameras that can zoom in. And the purported reason they are giving means that response times are going to go up, not down.

Example: Your neighbor is having a party It’s 10 o’clock at night and the party is still in full swing with loud music and boisterous merriment. You call the cops. Now, instead of a cop coming to see what is going on an to tell the neighbor he has to tone down the party, they will have someone fly a drone over the party. They will have to then make a determination as to whether it is a near riot (crisis management team) or just drunken revelry (cops go to warn). Then they call out the appropriate group. You’ve just added, what, half an hour to an hour to get someone there?

Mayor Adams is saying we have to get away from the “Sci-fi” fears of the drones. Yet new technology keeps coming up. Drones like this WERE sci-fi a decade or two ago. We have a number of sci-fi stories that highlight how technology can be abused. We have real life examples as well. So maybe he needs to come out and lay out all the rules, who is responsible, what the homeowners have the right to have disclosed, etc.

And if you are in the backyard and someone flies a drone overhead, how do you know it is the police or criminal casing the premises or even just a garden variety pervert?

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 I don’t see how sending a drone up to check on things prior to deploying the actual cop would add a nalf hour to an hour to the job, but what do I know. As for horses, there are not a ton of police horses in use in the city, only for occasions like a parade, for crowd control. There are five boroughs in the city, and I’ve never seen police horses in any of the outer boroughs or upper Manhattan (outer boroughs being Staten Island, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens). Bikes, I don’t know how practical they are for police to show up at a party and possibly have to arrest someone if they arrive on a bike.

You definitely bring up good points about technology and the use of drones – it’s all food for thought. It’s what the ACLU is concerned about, too, so I guess you and the ACLU are on the same page regarding it, which is great.

I’m not entrenched in defense of drones, just bringing up points for those who don’t know the conditions (unique conditions) police in NYC face, unlike other cities. I’ve been to other cities in the US that are not 1/5 as condensed as NYC, and their downtowns are tiny in comparison. I realize there are cities that are equally as big, such as Miami, LA, etc. but unless someone has been to NYC, and recently, not 30 years ago, they may not realize. I’ve been to street festivals in the city, such as the San Gennaro Festival, where everyone is in the street and packed together to where you just can’t move at all. I don’t enjoy those situations which is why I avoid them now. Even at Christmastime, they close 5th Avenue to traffic now because the sidewalks are too congested. I go down there then, and it’s very tiring because it’s so packed. Rock Center is congested to where you’re not moving, and you better hold the hand of the people you’re with because you’ll get separated by the crowd.

MrGrimm888's avatar

“Scare” me? No… If everyone was being monitored equally, we’d have to have a come to Jesus moment about what is considered “punishable” crime…
I believe that currently 17%? of US citizens have either been incarcerated or experienced some problems with the judicial system NOW

I kind of already assume that everything I’ve ever done around my phone is already being “observed.” As with most moments when I am in public…

It sucks. Good luck with the Hawks, and Eagles in my area…

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