“The New York Police Department on Tuesday unveiled plans to deploy 14 [drones] and to train 29 officers to operate them, opening an intense debate about whether an agency previously criticized for illegally surveilling citizens should possess such powerful technology.”
Cops say the drones would be used for monitoring big crowds, investigating hazardous waste spills, handling hostage situations and reaching remote crime scenes, among other jobs. “They will not be used for routine police patrols, unlawful surveillance or to enforce traffic laws, the officials said. Nor will they be equipped with weapons…. ”
But civil rights activists are concerned about “mission creep” — spying on black and Hispanic neighborhoods, and exploitation by the Trump administration to target illegal immigrants.