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Seattle Police Want More Drones, Even While Two Sit Unused 144

Posted by timothy
from the how-to-stop-those-punks-on-capitol-hill dept.
v3rgEz writes "The Seattle Police Department is seeking to buy more unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a. drones) even as the two it currently owns site warehoused until the city develops a policy for their use, documents released as part of the EFF and MuckRock's Drone Census show. More frightening than the $150,000 price tag? The fact that the drone vendors market the fact that these lease agreements do 'not require voter approval.'" Does your city or town use drones?
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Seattle Police Want More Drones, Even While Two Sit Unused

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  • Agree that the Drones don't seem to require their vote of approval.
  • .......we have superman to look over the streets!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In Seattle we have Phoenix Jones [wikipedia.org]. I don't see why we need any drones.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:54PM (#41637361)

    Why, yes, almost the entire population is one. The politician needs drones to win an election. Drones that don't ask embarrassing questions and just accept the party line are best.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My wife has a vagina that goes unused but^H^H^Hso I'd like a couple more to play with. What's the issue here?

  • that they can get a UAV drone for free with a 3 kill streak. They probably didn't know that.
    • by Dishevel (1105119)

      A UAV kill streak is for pussies.
      Mine do not start till 6.

    • I could bring one of those puppies down with a few model rocket engines and some parts from Radio Shack. Oops, almost forgot... and some cleaning supplies from the local grocery store.

      And if I don't, somebody else will. Maybe some new organization called "Unanimous" or something.

      Talk about a waste of money...
  • Helicopters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:02PM (#41637463) Homepage Journal

    I'm curious why people see this as so much worse than the police helicopters that have been in use for decades. Is it because they cost less money, and thus can be operated more frequently? Or because people associate them with the military?

    • Re:Helicopters (Score:4, Insightful)

      by asmkm22 (1902712) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:06PM (#41637505)

      Flimsy as it is, one of the more reliable defenses against privacy invasion has always been the cost and difficulty of wide-scale monitoring. So unless you are actually targeted by the police for some reason, it's pretty unlikely your actions are at all monitored. Also, there is something a little creepy about having drones flying around overhead keeping tabs on a city...

      • Re:Helicopters (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#41637831)

        Even though they are 150k each, you can buy 10-20 for the price of 1 helicopter. Not to mention cheaper operations and easier to train a drone pilot than a real one.

        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          If the cost to train and employ a drone pilot is half that of a pilot of a real helicopter that meas that they can man only twice as many drones as helicopters for the same operational budget. Doubling the number of eyes in the sky is not a huge improvement and is a far cry from "they can watch everything. That would require 50 to 100 times more drones and they do not have the budget to pay the pilots.

        • by dywolf (2673597)

          Not really. The hardest part of flying isnt the driving. It's the rules and regs. And drone pilots still have to obey nearly all the same FAA rules as normal pilots. They just dont risk their personal self in the act.

      • by Guru80 (1579277)
        Now add in the future the predict future crimes and have an ex-hobbit tired of following Frodo around as the brains behind the operation and we are all set for a B-level sci-fi future.
    • Re:Helicopters (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:30PM (#41637721) Homepage

      For the same reason people complain about GPS tracking on cars: they want to punish someone else for their perceived damage.

      People have some expectation of privacy in everything they do, with thresholds varying from "I don't want anyone to know anything about me" to "just don't put anything inside me except dinner". Note that this expectation is completely unrelated to how private a particular situation really is - a big open window in full view of the street isn't really reasonably private, but people still complain if someone looks in.

      When someone's expectation of privacy is broken, they get offended, and like all offended people with over-inflated senses of entitlement, they want someone else to be just as offended as they are, if not more. If someone's going to learn what grocery store they shop at, it had better involve a person standing on the sidewalk for hours handing out surveys. If the police are going to watch their movements, it should involve an officer spending their whole day in a car with a logbook, rather than ten minutes with a computer. If their neighborhood is going to be subject to aerial recording, it should cost an exorbitant amount to hire a skilled helicopter pilot, ground crew, and airport space.

      This isn't about being actually worse or even being more frequent. It's about Americans being offended and not having a built-in mechanism to force someone else to share in their frustration.

      By some definitions, that alone means these automated systems are unjust. After all "justice" is simply a feeling that my pain has returned to whomever caused it (in a nebulous, unquantifiable way).

      • Re:Helicopters (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:16PM (#41638151)

        That's stupid.

        People are upset by them because they are designed to be constantly in the air. If they were used for the same purposes as police helicopters you would only need 1 or 2. You only need more if you intend on having them constantly deployed. Knowing our local police that means they'll start using them to cite traffic violations like speeding, which most Americans don't consider a crime.

        In Virginia they still haven't answered whether or not the drones will be armed. There are serious implications if they are.

        But either way, constantly being watched by flying vehicles is an invasion of privacy. I have a reasonable expectation that if I go out for a drive, walk, to dinner etc, that the government is not spying on me constantly. What is the end game? To gather lots of small things together to make it seem like I did a crime? There is no reason to be running drones constantly. Crime rates are down across the country.

        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          These are the kind of uninformed posts that truly irk me. The "facts" they purport are blatantly false, the parallels they draw are meaningless and they information they leave out is obvious.

          People are upset by them because they are designed to be constantly in the air.

          Drones use fuel and need to land to refuel just like manned helicopters. The flight time of currently used helicopters is limited by the fuel tank not the crew.

          If they were used for the same purposes as police helicopters you would only need 1 or 2.

          One would need exactly the same number of drones a helicopters to get the same coverage.

          Knowing our local police that means they'll start using them to cite traffic violations like speeding, which most Americans don't consider a crime.

          To "cite traffic violations like speeding" requires someone on the ground

          • Police almost never stop crimes directly. They mostly just document them after the fact. If you want to have security you really need to take measures into your own hands.

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          That's stupid.

          Fantastic rebuttal.

          People are upset by them because they are designed to be constantly in the air.

          So we're upset by clouds too, right? And birds are abominable?

          What is so upsetting about something being in the air? Why does something being in the air all the time upset you? I propose that the constant disruption to your illusion of privacy is offensive, and frustrating because no other human has to be similarly offended.

          If they were used for the same purposes as police helicopters you would only need 1 or 2. You only need more if you intend on having them constantly deployed.

          This assumes that helicopters are currently used for their full purpose. The reality is that they're too expensive to fly as often as needed, and the police department

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What the fuck was all that I just read? Some sort of veiled complaint about people, maybe. Doesn't make much sense.

        Drones allow automated spying on citizens. There are all sorts of privacy concerns with regards to spying on citizens. It is not about degrees of irritation, it is about degrees of ease. What about cameras everywhere with face recognition software? What about cameras in your homes? What is reasonable and what is not?

        Putting flying robots in the sky that watch over us is a pretty horrible thing

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What the fuck are you talking about? Well, yes, if the government installed cameras or listening devices in my house, I'd be pretty pissed. Nothing wrong with being offended by something like that, and if other people happen to feel the same way, well, the government would hopefully get beaten back into shape.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        > It's about Americans being offended and not having a built-in mechanism to force someone else to share in their frustration.

        What you call "offended" other people call "freedom." This has nothing to do with being offended. It has everything to do with being left alone.

      • There's a very good reason for someone to want the police to department to have to do something manually, such as watching someone on a corner for 6 hours. Because if that person is under suspicion of a crime then there's actually a good reason for them to be under such surveillance. Taking a GPS device and attaching it to a car and claiming you know were that person was for 6 hours after that is the jump of logic that happens, shortcuts end up getting taken on something that requires slightly more interpre
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because they're quieter, more versatile and easily abused. With some of the recent innovations like with the Quadrocopter there's the possibility of them being able to physically get into places where a helicopter never would.

      The concern is also that there's the potential for a very slippery slope with no obvious sense of when the push back is going to start, if it does at all. Now, if we had some idea that the constitution says that they can't do X with it and the courts will actually enforce that, I think

    • The black helicopters in "whisper mode" have been following you everywhere you go for decades too? I knew I wasn't crazy!
    • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:20PM (#41638173) Homepage Journal
      Well, if you are in Seattle, you only have to worry about the police if you are a minority armed with a sword or knife. In that event, expect to get murdered by cops with guns. I expect the UAVs are probably to locate minorities armed with knives more efficiently.

      But on the plus side, if you shoot at a police helicopter spying on you sans warrant with a .22 rifle, you will probably get charged with attempted murder. If you shoot at a UAV, you will get charged with destruction of private property. Yay?
      • by ukemike (956477) on Friday October 12, 2012 @09:42PM (#41638915) Homepage

        Well, if you are in Seattle, you only have to worry about the police if you are a minority armed with a sword or knife. In that event, expect to get murdered by cops with guns. I expect the UAVs are probably to locate minorities armed with knives more efficiently.

        Or if you espouse left wing political ideas, or own anarchist literature or participate in protests against authority. http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-raid-anarchist-literature-portland-seattle/6267/ [greenisthenewred.com]

      • by jamesh (87723)

        Well, if you are in Seattle, you only have to worry about the police if you are a minority armed with a sword or knife. In that event, expect to get murdered by cops with guns. I expect the UAVs are probably to locate minorities armed with knives more efficiently.

        But on the plus side, if you shoot at a police helicopter spying on you sans warrant with a .22 rifle, you will probably get charged with attempted murder. If you shoot at a UAV, you will get charged with destruction of private property. Yay?

        Shooting at a UAV sounds like terrorist activity, which is a good thing as trials and due process cost a fortune.

        I would vote for these only if they make the concession that any time a private citizen sees one in the air over their land they are allowed to shoot at it with an air rifle, and that if they successfully take it down over their own property it becomes theirs.

        Also, in the interests of security, any and all attempts to take one down via electronic means are allowed and encouraged, with the proviso

    • Re:Helicopters (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:33PM (#41638233)

      Police helicopters generally do not fly on a patrol, they fly on demand. They cost too much per hour to just fly around. Plus they are maintenance intensive, even if the money was there to burn up for fuel, they require a lot of short interval inspections which puts the bird out of action (the required work may take no more than a half day or so, but that's a half day minimum of unavailability). So when they are up there, they are going somewhere with something to do, not just fly. Usually to circle a perp or eyeball a freeway pileup or be one of the chase birds for a nut driver.

      Helicopters are very noisy and in no way can perform quiet surveillance. You can load them up with cameras up the wazoo, but given that they are tethered to general aviation airports, most of the observation would be to and from corridors to said airports.

      Now take drones. These are far smaller, can operate longer, and capable of being quiet enough that at mid-VFR altitudes (assuming the FAA plays ball) that they are likely to be inaudible against the usual city noise. Now you have a practical spy platform that looks into people's yards (Homeowners and rental tenants do have an expectation of privacy from observation where it's not normally humanly practical). They can be flown more frequently since the maintenance requirements are different. With a batch of them at a PD's disposal, they could be scheduled that one or two could be always up in the air in a major city 24/7. Given that they could potentially be flown so low that they can get angle shots into buildings through windows, it's a far more effective spy platform (However if it can be flown that low, it's a flight hazard now. Normally the FAA would putting the kabosh on this. However with the current atmosphere of police state mentality, the FAA will likely to roll over for law enforcement "needs").

      One of two things would kill drone programs. The less certain path is that they greatly underestimated the costs of using drones, however if Police State Bob wants something, money is often magically found. The more certain path is when drones get hacked in flight and creatively dealt with - deliberately crashed, taken elsewhere, or they are flown as nuisances. If we get drone collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists or people in convertibles (I doubt the drones would be big enough and hefty enough to pose a certain lethal risk against people in public transportation or newer enclosed cars), when people are seriously hurt or killed - drone programs are likely to be killed right then and there. A helicopter can fail in flight (and have), but cannot be remotely hacked.

      If the military who are operating very expensive, high performance large drones equipped with weaponry and then operating these drones with pathetic security in mind (unencrypted video, easily spoofed control systems, seriously?), like having a drone taken over and landed in Iran - you can bet civilian police models who do not have the luxury of encrypted satellite links will be pwn3d all over creation.

      I do not trust the police. Any bit of technology that hands over an advantage to the police will be abused, any legal ruling that provides an inch for law enforcement will be stretched a mile wide You can expect these will be armed, with non-lethal stuff at first, but certainly will be abused. Remember how tasers were a non-lethal alternative to guns? Generally police still use guns in most situations that tasers were tasked for, but use tasers are convenient "compliance" devices, inexpensive torture devices.

      Let's stop giving the police more toys to abuse the public with.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        One of two things would kill drone programs. The less certain path is that they greatly underestimated the costs of using drones, however if Police State Bob wants something, money is often magically found. The more certain path is when drones get hacked in flight and creatively dealt with - deliberately crashed, taken elsewhere, or they are flown as nuisances

        That's a good start, but eventually they will embrace strong crypto, and then it will be necessary to build drone-killing drones.

      • by jcombel (1557059)

        opening line of argument is incorrect: police helicopters do fly patrol, for uses as mundane as targetting highway speeding, and are profitable in that respect.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Police helicopters are expensive to operate and require a pilot who is also quite expensive. Further, helicopters have limited flight time before they must land for refueling. Drones are relatively inexpensive, can stay aloft for extremely long times, and require no pilot. This makes them practical to use for surveillance purposes, which the government should not be conducting.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Simple answer is Rule #4:
      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    • I'm curious why people see this as so much worse than the police helicopters that have been in use for decades. Is it because they cost less money, and thus can be operated more frequently? Or because people associate them with the military?

      Its the same problem people have with CCTV cameras or other monitoring equipment. Without proper regulations for their use by law enforcement (or private companies, for that matter), they are so cheap to buy and use that a city or country can quickly become swamped in monitoring equipment with no limits to how or where the data is used or retained.

      Expense has prohibited the rollout of a panopticon, and people who are concerned about drones (myself included) see their use as another substantial lowering of t

    • by westlake (615356)

      I'm curious why people see this as so much worse than the police helicopters that have been in use for decades.

      The use of aircraft in police work dates back to 1914.

      1929 The Los Angeles Police create a part time unit using the aircraft of citizens, In New York City the eleven year old voluntary unit is replaced by the first known full time Air Service Division with its own aircraft [24 October].

      Police Aviation - a chronology [policeaviationnews.com]

      The geek has little sense of geography.

      The LAPD's jurisdiction covers 498 square miles (1,290 km2) with a population of 3,792,621 million people.

      San Bernardino County has an area of 20,105.32 sq mi (52,072.5 km2). Roughly four times the size of the state of Connecticut. In some states, the county's role in law enforcement is little noticed, in other states it it looms very large.

  • Makes no sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by asmkm22 (1902712)

    I can see quite a bit of value for the military use of drones. They put fewer pilots at risk, and it's probably cheaper to train a drone pilot than the a "real" pilot, although I could be wrong.

    Using drones by the state department or law enforcement, however, makes less sense. They aren't designed to displace, say, helicopter pilots, and I doubt they'll be doing missile strikes any time soon, so the only purpose they serve is yet another way around those pesky privacy laws.

    • by NFN_NLN (633283)

      I can see quite a bit of value for the military use of drones. They put fewer pilots at risk, and it's probably cheaper to train a drone pilot than the a "real" pilot, although I could be wrong.

      ... so ... are we allowed to shine green lasers at these since there is no real pilot?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I can see quite a bit of value for the military use of drones. They put fewer pilots at risk, and it's probably cheaper to train a drone pilot than the a "real" pilot, although I could be wrong.

        ... so ... are we allowed to shine green lasers at these since there is no real pilot?

        I am a drone you insensitive clod.

    • Re:Makes no sense (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hawguy (1600213) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:25PM (#41637679)

      I can see quite a bit of value for the military use of drones. They put fewer pilots at risk, and it's probably cheaper to train a drone pilot than the a "real" pilot, although I could be wrong.

      Of course, they are trading "fewer pilots at risk" with "more people on the ground at risk". A helicopter is extremely expensive to own and operate and has a pilot on board that cares a lot about keeping himself alive (thus keeping the helicopter in the air). If they have a fleet of 6 drones that are much cheaper to operate (thus are more heavily used than helicopters), there's a higher risk that one of those drones will malfunction and crash to the ground, possibly on someone's house or car. Granted a "small" drone will cause less damage than a larger helicopter, but that's not going to make the headlines much better when a drone crashes into a crowded football stadium.

      In a military operation killing a few civilians on the bad guys side is treated as a cost of war -- but what's the reaction going to be when a drone chasing a car thief crashes into a back yard birthday party?

      • Re:Makes no sense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:35PM (#41637763) Homepage

        Which is precisely why the FAA hasn't approved the drones flying over populated areas. FTFA the original FAA plan required the Seattle PD to stay away from pretty much everything. The idea seemed to be that the department needed to show that they were interested and capable of using these potentially dangerous devices.

        All well and good, but then the Seattle PD just dropped everything (according to the publicly available documents) and the program is sitting there, essentially collecting rust (it is Seattle after all) all the while asking for two new drones.

        Seems like the Seattle PD started out OK (testing program, limited objectives) but now has backed off, shut up and wants to spend more. Perhaps their taking cues from the TSA.

      • by Froggels (1724218)
        .... but what's the reaction going to be when a drone chasing a car thief crashes into a back yard birthday party?

        As long as the police were following procedure then it's just collateral damage. Remember, in America "the law" must be enforced at all costs.
    • It has nothing to do with privacy laws. The main uses are for aerial pictures and search and rescue. When there's an automobile crash on the interstate, a quick aerial photograph of the accident scene lets the police clear debris off the road faster and open the road sooner. Right now, they'll send out a hook-and-ladder fire truck and send a photographer to the top of the ladder to get the aerial pictures when needed. Privacy laws remain in effect, independent of the technology used.
  • Drones (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:04PM (#41637493)

    Well, police departments have started stocking up on all kinds of military and paramilitary gear ever since the federal government started giving away excess or "out of warranty" military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies. I mean, Texas recently took delivery of a tank. Cost? Gas. And there's pics on the internet of someone being pulled over for speeding by a giant tank.

    On one hand, that's recycling and reusing, which is a sound financial principle that reduces operating costs. Given our massive debt load, this kind of thinking should be encouraged. On the other hand, there are disturbing civil rights implications when the police start amassing large quantities of military gear. It's like the old saying "When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." We're seeing increased use of SWAT teams, no-knock search warrants, and violence by our police against the civilian population that simply wasn't present 10 or 15 years ago. I can't help but wonder if it's not just a little because they're being handed military gear by the truckload -- there's no incentive to look for less violent solutions, and that bullets cost less than tazer cartridges.

    It's not that civilian law enforcement has access to, or owns, drones, or even that the military is practically giving them away that concerns me... but that there's not much incentive for less-than-lethal weapondry when letal weapons cost less (if anything). It has always cost more to protect something than destroy it. But the police are supposed to be tasked with preserving life -- taking it is a last resort. But when the only tools they're given are all made with the idea of being used against our enemies instead of our peers, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the user's thinking adapts to the tool... not the other way around.

    • We're seeing increased use of SWAT teams, no-knock search warrants, and violence by our police against the civilian population that simply wasn't present 10 or 15 years ago.

      I assure you, it was occurring well over 15 years ago. Remember Waco was almost 20 years ago now. The difference between now and then is it's not just the groups labeled right or left wing nuts that have noticed. It has gotten far worse over time, even small police departments are 'militarized' these days. At least at this time we can still freely complain about it on the internet. Back in the early '90s you didn't hear about it so much because they news only reported what the police said happened and the p

    • And there's pics on the internet of someone being pulled over for speeding by a giant tank.

      lol that's hilarious. I would speed just so I could get pulled over. It can't be good for the roads, though.

    • and violence by our police against the civilian population that simply wasn't present 10 or 15 years ago.

      There was probably even more of it, before YouTube and cell phones with video capabilities existed. Now they usually think twice about what they do in public.
      In any case, it's a small percentage of cops that are involved, but they give all cops a bad name.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Well, police departments have started stocking up on all kinds of military and paramilitary gear ever since the federal government started giving away excess or "out of warranty" military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies

      Really that's been going on for eternity. Our local PD in Lakeport, CA has a bunch of old military trucks. The relationship has simply been formalized so they can do it with less paperwork.

  • He probably wants the drones to spy on the contractors digging the new highway 99 tunnel. He's hoping to catch one misstep so - BAM! - he can shut them down!

    Or maybe SPD found out there are more woodcarvers [seattlepi.com] than they thought, so they want the ability to monitor them all in case another one goes rogue.

    • by PPH (736903)

      That's why the residents of Seattle love bus and traffic tunnels: Follow me now, biatch!

  • by Dantoo (176555) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:17PM (#41637605)

    Local records office is full of them. Went there to submit house plans and though I had a go, I found I lacked the skills to even manipulate one to the counter. They seemed to be aimless and uncontrollable which is probably why the local authority had them stored in the one building. I am fairly sure that 150k would be a bargain for a new one. A lot of these were older models and possibly cost as much as that to maintain annually. Fully autonomous advanced models for their day though, so I left fervently hoping that the powers would let them all loose soon during a value-for-money drive.

  • Let's just outsource citizens while we're at it. Who cares about actual people when the objective of the paramilitary complex is to make a sale. Capitalism mixed with armed civil servitude in a budget crisis, what a great idea!
    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      Let's just outsource citizens while we're at it.

      Someone must have watched Surrogates lately.

  • by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#41637821)

    Why buy them before you're going to use them?

    This technology is advancing so rapidly that anything you buy *today* will cost half the price in a couple of month's time and be twice as capable.

    There's a Moore's law involved here so it seems stupid to tie up capital in something that will be unused and depreciating at such a rapid rate.

    Think of all the donuts and coffee they could buy for that money!

  • by isomer1 (749303) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:47PM (#41637879)
    We, as concerned budget conscious citizens, point out that these drones can do the work of 10 ordinary beat officers (10,15 whatever the number is irrelevant). This, we continue, allows the county/city/state to reduce the number of officers on payroll. Then we sit back and watch the police union take care of problem for us.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:54PM (#41638335) Homepage Journal

    ... property taxes alone on an American are higher than the annual living wage in many countries. How this can be defies explanation!

    • property taxes alone on an American are higher than the annual living wage in many countries. How this can be defies explanation!

      No it doesn't. The standard of living is higher here. Don't be an idiot.

    • It's insane. How come a run of the mill dinner at a restaurant would cost me near enough 20 euro, while in Somalia that'd be dinner for a warlord and the most trusted members of his personal army. Lets see done elitist book learnin' boffin explain that!

      Palin/Trump in 2019!

  • .... after cannabis is legalized in November, but don't spend this money just because you can
  • They sit on the city council.
  • by WarSpiteX (98591) on Friday October 12, 2012 @10:13PM (#41639019) Homepage

    I have only flown through Seattle and never really spent more than about 6 hours in the city proper (outside the airport), yet I was creeped out by their police as early as 2000 - long before the stories of abuse came out. Here's why:

    I'm coming off my flight in Seattle for the first time and waiting for another, when all of a sudden, interrupting the normal announcements, the speakers across the airport are blaring out "DO NOT WORRY, CITIZENS! THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS ARE HERE TO ASSIST YOU." This was over a year before 9/11 so it never occurred to me that some sort of terrorist attack had happened, and as far as I knew, the police in Seattle had done nothing notable to rile up the citizenry. Yet the fact that they felt the need to reassure me every 10 minutes (for 3 hours...) that they're here to help me was the weirdest thing ever.

    That is all.

  • And then make sure the scumbag spends a few years behind bars for accepting advantage.

  • I'm not generally antigovernment, but where drones (and the TSA) are concerned, I'm appalled that people are simply sitting back and allowing constant government aerial surveillance to simply go unchecked. Frankly, I hope that people start shooting them down. They have no place outside a war zone. Scott
  • Finally I can put all the FPS training to use.
  • As a proud UK subject (we are NOT citizens), I don't understand the lack of "social belonging" that is shown by so many colonists posters. Is it because by starting with an illegal act and armed uprising the conspiracy of "founding fathers" set a precedent which is still followed by this generation, or is it because a mongrel mix of immigrants from minority cults and diverse cultures has failed to form a cohesive "nation".
    The police force should be seen as an integral part of society, and respected as defen

  • ...taxpayers if they are interested in funding more technology for the few to spy on the taxpayers.

  • Do you want to do whatever the fuck you want, with no regard whatsoever for the wishes of your constituency? Do you want to then get reelected over and over again because only 200 old-ass white people show up at the election to vote straight down the party line?

    Sound like paradise? Can't possibly be real?

    But wait! It is real! It's local government! Getting in is easy, too! Just wait for an incumbent to die or retire, then take their place in whatever party they came from. Unless you get redistricted, you're

  • This is just another example of the elites (politicians and certain wealthy individuals) using our tax dollars to ensure we don't take back our country. This is in the same category as the stop and frisk law in New York. Both designed to keep us a little agitated, nervous and good little sheep. And this is happening right under our noses with most folks consenting to these types of actions by these morally corrupt elites.
  • Drones? Are you fucking kidding me! Didn't the SPD learn anything from the WTO Battle in Seattle or #OccupySeattle? Obviously not. That's OK. I have a 270 degree view from my rooftop here in N Admiral. I can see all of downtown. One question: How long before folks start aiming for them... Don't worry Diaz; I don't own a gun.
  • My town is far too small to have a drone, but when I lived in downstate Illinois, a town called Quincy had a remote controlled helicopter with FLIR on it back in the early 2000's.They only used it twice that I'm aware of, and that was to find small children who got lost in cornfields.

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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