New York, NY — In a matter of weeks, Americans have watched a police state unfold in front of their eyes. The phrase "that could never happen here" has taken a back seat to "omg what will they do next." Well, next up on the "holy sh*t we have reached 1984 status" list is the fact that residents in New York and California are now being monitored by drones — and officials are bragging about it.
On Thursday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea posted a video to Twitter of some of the aerial footage over multiple locations throughout the city of New York, including Carl Schurz Park, Inwood Hill Park and Juniper Valley Park.
Sadly enough, some folks took to the tweet thread to beg the commissioner to bring the drones to their neighborhood. "Come to Borough Park, my neighborhood. Not the case here!" one Twitter user wrote.
"Go to Grand concourse not the case there. Good job officers, keep on doing great things. Praying for all of you," wrote another.
Others took to Twitter to call it what it is "Dystopian af."
"Is this a scene from Terminator?" and "1984 wasn't an instruction manual."
Although the government-loving citizens asking for the drone to come in their neighborhood complained of people being outside, the commissioner himself essentially made his own case for the unnecessary nature of such Orwellian tactics. They couldn't find anyone breaking the mandate.
"We’ve visited hundreds of restaurants, parks, & other spaces this week — by foot, by car, & by air. What we’ve seen so far...is nearly ????% compliance," Shea wrote.
For those who remember, back in 2018, when the NYPD first announced the department's acquisition of this technology, officials claimed they would never be used for instances like this.
"They will not be used for routine police patrols, unlawful surveillance or to enforce traffic laws," the officials said, according to the NY Times.
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“Let me be clear: N.Y.P.D. drones will not be used for warrantless surveillance,” Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan said in 2018.
What a difference 17 months makes. As the video below illustrates, that wasn't entirely true.
In southern California, cops are also spying on their citizens with similar technology. The drones came from China, on which the Free Thought Project reported earlier this month. Just like the Chinese authorities, police in California are equipping the drones with speakers to tell people what to do.
"The department is considering one strategy to use drone-mounted speakers to communicate and reach vulnerable populations in inaccessible areas of the city, like large urban canyons with homeless encampments," the Chula Vista Police Department said in a press release. "Unsheltered persons are particularly vulnerable to the current pandemic, and their safety and welfare is important to stopping the spread of the disease."
The company who manufactures the drones had no problem admitting the "Orwellian" nature of such a program.
“What we saw in China, and what we're probably going to see around the world, is using drones with cameras and loudspeakers to fly around to see if people are gathering where they shouldn't be, and telling them to go home,” Spencer Gore, chief executive of U.S.-based drone company Impossible Aerospace, said. “It seems a little Orwellian, but this could save lives.”
He is now working tirelessly to make billions selling this tech to other departments across the country.
Make no mistake, once a government takes one of your freedoms, even in times of emergencies, they almost never give it back. We can bet on drones hovering overhead as being the new norm.
Had this happened just 10 years ago, rest assured Americans would be shouting from the rooftops, calling out the blatant attack on their privacy. Now, however, coronavirus fears have successfully captured their attention due to the government's false promises of keeping them safe.
Those supporting this move of their government hovering over head with drones 24 hours a day and watching their every move would do well to remember the following idea. When people surrender their freedom for security, 10 times out of 10, they end up with neither.