HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons.
The proposal was immediately met with concern by civil rights and liberties advocates.
“We’re not in warfare here,” said David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut.
McGuire told WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz the main problem is that attaching deadly weapons or riot deterrents such as tear gas to drones would make it much easier for a police officer to use force.
“There’s a level of separation that makes it almost video game like where they’re detached from the actual situation,” he said.
Connecticut NAACP President Scot Esdaile also opposes the bill and says he worries police will misuse drones.
The state legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved the bill Wednesday and sent it to the House of Representatives. It would ban the use of weaponized drones but exempt police. The state Police Officer Standards and Training Council would have to approve new rules and train officers before they could use weaponized drones.
North Dakota is the only state that allows police to use weaponized drones, but limits the use to “less lethal” weapons such as stun guns.
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