North Dakota cops can now use lobbyist-approved taser/pepper-spray drones

Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer's Association introduced an amendment to ND HB 1328 that allows cops to shoot at citizens with drone-borne rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, tasers and sound cannon.

The bill was originally intended to force cops to get a warrant before using a drone to spy on people. It was also opposed by the founder of a drone company.

The sheriff and lobbyists assured lawmakers that drones would only be used in non-criminal situations, like the search for a missing person or to photograph an accident scene. What they didn't mention was the 2011 arrest of Rodney Brossart, a cattle thief who was caught by a Department of Homeland Security drone.

When a few cows wandered onto his land, Brossart refused to take them back to their owner, his neighbor. The neighbor called the police and the situation turned into a 16-hour standoff. Fearful of entering his ranch without knowing where Brossart was, police asked Homeland Security to redirect a Predator searching the border with Canada.

The drone meant to find drug smugglers instead found Brossart—on his own property—and he was arrested.

First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to a Lobbyist [Justin Glawe/Daily Beast]

(Image: Dair Massey/The Daily Beast)