The Corner

Law & the Courts

Finally, Those Raging North Dakotan Riots Will Be Suppressed

Uh oh:

In a political loop-the-loop, a bill in North Dakota originally intended to limit the power of police drones actually permits unmanned aerial vehicles to use rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers.

An investigative report published on the via The Daily Beast by Justin Glawe states that a draft of HB 1328 first banned all weapons on law enforcement drones.

But then Bruce Burkett of the police lobby group North Dakota’s Peace Officer’s Association was allowed to amend the bill — which was signed into law in April — to allow drones to carry “less than lethal” weapons.

One might suggest that there is something insidious about putting weapons in the hands of easily replaceable robots. Police officers know that they if they make a mistake, they might die. Drones, by contrast, do not. Where is the in-built check on their deployment?

The author of the bill is worried:

The bill, originally drafted by Rep. Rick Becker, puts military technology into the hands of civilian law enforcement, a concern that Becker himself voiced back in March, reports Glawe.

“This is one I’m not in full agreement with. I wish it was any weapon,” Becker said at a March hearing. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period.”

Agreed. But let’s put the tactical questions to one side for a moment and ask the obvious question, which is: Why do government officials in North Dakota need anti-rioting drones in the first instance? “Rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons” are all tools for fighting back against violent, unruly, implacable crowds. When was the last time that North Dakota hosted anything of the sort?

Most Popular

White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More