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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing 310

Posted by timothy
from the where-is-your-flightplan? dept.
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes An air traffic control recording confirms that a New York Police Department helicopter flew at a drone hovering near the George Washington Bridge earlier this week—not the other way around. What's more, police had no idea what to charge the drone pilots with, and never appeared to fear a crash with the drone.
Two men were arrested Monday on felony reckless endangerment charges after the NYPD said the two flew their drone "very close" to a law enforcement chopper, causing the police helicopter to take evasive maneuvers. Air traffic control recordings suggest that only happened after the chopper pilot decided to chase the drone.
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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:25PM (#47425807)

    Let's give them MORE taxes and resources to use against us.

  • So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:26PM (#47425819)

    So when are reckless endangerment charges going to be filed against the pilot? He intentionally steered his craft towards an object that they admit through their own filings presented a risk of a crash.

  • by Scutter (18425) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:28PM (#47425833) Journal

    Gotta keep those conviction numbers up to justify your DHS endowments. What matter if you destroy a few lives in the process?

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:32PM (#47425885)

    They lied about the drone flying at and following the helicopter. It was, in fact the helicopter that flew recklessly at the drone. IOW, the NYPD falsified their report in order to make an arrest.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:38PM (#47425909)

    So... they filed a false report.
      Fire them and press charges. We can't have the police lying on reports.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:39PM (#47425921)

    Sounds to me like the police need to seize those ATC recordings as part of their investigation into this incident. When the police have the evidence in their possession about what happened, then they'll let us know what evidence they want to let us see in accordance to what verdict they want the outcome to have.

    Anything else would be prejudicial and could not be supported as factual evidence from a free world.

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:41PM (#47425937)

    I guess every story has at least one.

    So, the cop saw someone breaking the law, gave chase, and then they're the bad guys because the suspect tried to ram them?

    No, you twit. They're bad guys for lying about it.

    No drone, or "remotely piloted aircraft" in DoD newspeak, should be flown over a populated area.

    Charge them for what they did do, not make shit up about what they didn't do. This isn't hard.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:43PM (#47425949)

    No, they're bad guys because they falisified a fucking police report.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:47PM (#47425989) Journal

    No, the local cop saw someone speeding, chased him down, and then charged the person with drug possession after tossing a dime bag in the back seat after pulling them over.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:53PM (#47426027)

    There is no information that the drone tried to ram the helicopter, you are making that up. What information we do have indicates that the helicopter rushed the drone then gave chase when it left the area. From this the police charged the people with reckless endangerment because their helicopter got close to the drone. If there was reckless endangerment it was on the part of the police.

    Baring other details being released IMO this isn't much different than the police arresting photographers photographing them for wiretapping or violating their privacy and other such nonsense. The police created this situation deliberately so they could charge the guys. Not much different than the video's of them screaming stop resisting while they beat someone unconsciousness that isn't resisting.

  • by itsenrique (846636) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:55PM (#47426045)
    Sorry, I'll bite. The problem is that the "anti-tax" people that are elected (and electable in the future) are not against giving more money and power to the police in general. And neither are the "pro-tax" people. This isn't about money. It's about power and authoritarian over-reach. You could take away their choppers and tanks and cut salaries but that wouldn't address the underlying issues. By trying to steer this into a conversation about taxes you fail to see the very real problems with police brutality, corruption, lying, profiling, and on and on. Now, back on topic...
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:57PM (#47426057) Homepage
    The cops who falsified their reports are going to jail, right? If I am found falsely testifying under oath, that's my sentencing. What? They'll get off with a slap on the wrist and *MAYBE* a week's paid vacation? I wonder why citizens distrust police in this country.
  • Re:So (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thaylin (555395) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:09PM (#47426153)
    More likely they will fire the flight controller for recording them.
  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@a[ ]com ['ol.' in gap]> on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:10PM (#47426161) Journal

    It is legal because there is no Law against it.

    Everything is legal that is not prohibited by a Law.

    Laws are a blacklist, not a whitelist, just like the Constitution is a blacklist of things government is not allowed to do, not a whitelist of things Citizens ARE allowed to do.

  • by PseudoCoder (1642383) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:11PM (#47426169)
    I've personally seen how the rotorwash of a helo more than a half mile away turned over a 25 lb aircraft during a design competition fly-off back in my college days in Florida. Damn good pilot from Univ. of Puerto Rico recovered a highly loaded bird from fully inverted and brought it in. I have no doubt that a 5 lb quad-copter would get tossed around like a speck of dust. Either they weren't that close, or the autopilot did a hell of a job keeping the thing upright and under control.
  • Re:Typical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:13PM (#47426187)

    Remember 9-11? Along with all those poor FDNY guys who died, a few cops got taken out also actually helping people - not many - but a few.

    There were TONS of memorials and honors given to the New York Firemen who died, but NOTHING for the NY police who did.

    I wonder why.

    Agreeing with you: By and large, cops are cowards. They're #1 priority is making sure "they get home safe". They are a bunch of backstabbing murderers as attested to by every cop who has never filed complaints with IA against other officers because "They need to make sure they have each others' backs". If your partner will murder you because you truthfully testify that he lies on his timesheet, that mofo should not be a cop with a gun. Interactions with cops generally is a bad experience. They've even gone to the Supreme court to demand they NOT be obligated to protect people:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

    Contrast that with the fire department. Sure, there are corrupt fire inspectors and crap, but there's no red/blue wall of silence about it. If I'm passed out from smoke inhalation and the guy breaking down the door and carrying me to safety wants to lighten my wallet while another is doing the CPR thing, I'm AOK with that.

  • by lgw (121541) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:20PM (#47426233) Journal

    Government, police, etc will always be corrupt. Always. People are people. The only defense is to give them just barely enough resources to do their job, with no excess or space for overreach. It's all about taxes - taxes are the only practical weapon the common voter has against government overreach, and the Constitution was written with this fundamental truth firmly in mind.

    Of course, of all of Congress there are but a handful of congresscritters who actually are for less government spending, and usually the voter's choice is merely between which group of supporters the tax money will go to. That's a cultural problem in the US, and we can't begin to fix it until every call for lower taxes stops being dismissed with "you anarchist and probable racist, why do you want 0 government".

    Fixing the problem starts with popular acceptance of the idea that one can say we're sending too much without being some extremist calling for the end of government. Less does not mean none - spread the word!

  • by Greg Heller (3031971) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:22PM (#47426249)
    Filing a false report is a very serious charge as a civilian -- it should be even worse when a couple of cops do it. Lets take a look at this, false arrest, filing false reports, just generally conduct unbecoming, big payout to those falsely arrested.My hat is off to those folks over at the FAA. We can count on the FAA to be honorable and straight shooting, about the only Federal Agency that still cares about doing their job right.
  • by FrozenToothbrush (3466403) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:22PM (#47426255)
    What you're describing takes a fundamental change in the human condition of most people. Money and taxes are an enabler for those who are pro-authoritarian. I don't think the original posters thought should be dismissed so coldly.
  • by PseudoCoder (1642383) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:24PM (#47426267)
    One of the helo officers claims this thing went from 0-2000 ft in 2 seconds. I'll believe that out of a model rocket, or maybe a Diamond Dust with a tuned pipe, but not out of a quadcopter loaded down with a camera. This officer was likely exaggerating what he saw for effect.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:28PM (#47426295)

    The US Constitution is not a black list it is a white list. It is a document stating which powers The People give the government. This idea has been lost on many people, and I believe is the source of many of the problems we see.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by racermd (314140) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:33PM (#47426345)

    The flight controller didn't do any of the recording. The FAA (a *federal* agency, mind you) mandates ALL radio transmissions be recorded. The flight controller's only job is to control traffic. They have zero ability to trigger, delete, modify, etc., recordings. The pilot of every aircraft should know this so it wouldn't be something they'd be all that concerned about. Their supervisors/managers on the ground may not know this, however... And the FAA is quite good about responding to FOIA requests.

    Also, firing a federal employee is actually really hard, even for cause. Usually, they're just given a crappy job with almost nothing to do so they'll feel motivated to quit on their own. Trust me, that's actually a LOT easier than getting firing someone at the federal level. Besides, even the NYPD can't get a federal employee fired since the NYPD is a state-level agency.

    The most likely outcome, in my opinion, is that the NYPD will grudgingly admit their mistake, tell the pair to knock it off in some semi-friendly manner while the cameras are watching, then go back to business-as-usual until they're caught in their own lies again. Meanwhile, we'll all continue to bitch and moan about the "police state" and post ignorant comments in random places on the internet. Heck, I'm doing that right now!

  • by visualight (468005) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @02:35PM (#47426357) Homepage

    You're a god damn idiot, trying to tie this to sex education in schools and labor unions. Not everything wrong in the world is connected to the handful of issues that literally define your identity. An identity made for you by the likes of the Heritage Foundation, Freedomworks, and Americans For Prosperity ( and dozens more ).

    I swear, for most of my life I've tried to be gentle when it comes to politics and religion, but look what that's got us. People like you who troll forums and try to find every opportunity to regurgitate the propaganda you're too stupid to see through.

    Next time you feel like stretching the current topic into a place where you can insert a not-so-witty, not-so-clever comment on big-guvment or unions, just SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @03:31PM (#47426759) Homepage

    Filing the false report is the first charge. Next up, unlawful imprisonment. Next up, reckless endangerment of everyone around them who could have been injured/killed (they themselves said it was a very dangerous situation, they don't get to say it was no big deal now). Finally, federal penalties for violating FAA rules and regulations. Perhaps the pilot should have his license suspended.

    If NYPD is a police force rather than organized crime, they will see to it that all of the above happens AND release the men they arrested with deepest apologies.

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @03:34PM (#47426793) Homepage

    When they were blaming the other guys, they seemed to have no problem determining that it was dangerously close. So we can just take their word for it that the approach was close enough to call it reckless endangerment and that it is worthy of arrest.

  • by lgw (121541) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @03:44PM (#47426879) Journal

    Business, private security, etc will always be corrupt. Always. People are people. Doesn't help that corporations are also bigger people. Taxes are the only practical weapon the common voter has against corporate overreach. What's your solution if we don't fund a group to watch them? We shouldn't just force agencies to spend our taxes wisely, but also demand how and to whom we allocate those taxes to.

    This is the other kneejerk response to any suggestion of reduced government spending that needs to die forever.

    1 - How about we cut government spending in some are other than the tiny percentage spent on protecting people against corporate abuse?

    2 - We have a system in place for this. The problem with it is not that it's underfunded, but that it's been corrupted by the very corporations it tries to regulate! Arguably, stuff like the DMCA shows that more harm than good is done in some areas, thanks to this. This is perhaps the most serious problem in internal politics in America today but it's not in any way a funding problem.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:05PM (#47427063)

    But the people calling for low taxes are, by and large, far-right nutjobs. They shouldn't have to be, I agree, but it's the big problem with US politics: The two-party, two-faction system forces everyone to ally with one of the extremes. So you can't be just opposed to high taxation - well, you can, but you'll be ignored and excluded. You need to buy the whole package: Low tax, guns for all, no abortion, no gay marriage, climate change is a liberal hoax, wave the flag and God Bless America.

  • Re:Typical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:06PM (#47427071)

    In 2013, 101 firefighters died in the line of duty.

    In 2013, about 110 police officers died...mostly in traffic accidents. Only 33 due to firearms and even among those few actually killed by bad guys.

    Firefighters risk their lives on every call and are protected by nothing more than a thick coat and helmet and their brains.

    The Police face risks on every call but most a boring and not dangerous. They are protected by firearms, theirs and their partners, ballistic vests, and overwhelming firepower when needed.

    The Police kill innocent people all the time. Firefighters rescue innocent people all the time.

    Hats off to Fire Fighters.

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:50PM (#47427473) Homepage
    Then the perfect party for you is the Tea Party. Check them out. They're not the right-wing nutjobs you believe them to be. There are plenty of libertarians (and even some Democrats!) to be found among their ranks.
  • Sounds about right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @05:12PM (#47427639) Journal

    If you're assaulted by the police, they'll most likely charge you with assault.

  • Re:Typical (Score:1, Insightful)

    by naughtynaughty (1154069) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @05:19PM (#47427693)
    Firefighters no more "risk their lives on every call" than does my plumber. To start with, a relatively low percentage of calls involve a fire. Of those only a relatively few put a few of the firefighters at the scene in any degree of danger. Hats off to my plumber, at least he knows he's just doing a job and getting paid well for it without any need to pretend he's doing something noble.
  • by No Tears In The End (452319) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @08:54PM (#47428823)

    Ah yes, the nutjobs slander. Have you ever considered the possibility that the people who believe differently than you have put as much thought as or more thought than you into the issues and simply come to a different conclusion?

    You need to buy the whole package: Low tax, guns for all, no abortion, no gay marriage, climate change is a liberal hoax, wave the flag and God Bless America.

    What you fail to realize, either intentionally or not, is that you're complaining about political coalitions.

    To boil it down to my main issues, I'm pro-life and pro second amendment.

    Low taxes are something that I regard as a "nice to have" but not a requirement. I don't care much about gay "marriage" or flag waving. I don't think that reducing particulate emissions would be the worst thing in the world.

    I support the people who care about those issues because they support me with mine.

    It's not just my side, both sides do it.You don't really think that the upper-middle class white feminists give half a damn about some poor black kid's police brutality claim, do you?

    Before 1992, I would have probably been a Democrat. I wasn't fond of Reagan or Reaganomics. George Bush Sr. was a filthy liar. No new taxes indeed. But in those days, the Democrats made it clear that pro-life, pro second amendment people were not welcome in their party while the Republicans opened their arms and welcomed us in.

    Want to change things? Offer something more substantive than scorn and ridicule. Otherwise, a lot of people like me will have no choice but to vote for whichever John McCain clone gets the GOP nomination in 2016.

    NTITE

  • by gizmo2199 (458329) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:51PM (#47429311) Homepage
    No, I think you're logic is fallacious. You're not looking at the functional power wielded by either party. Since the US is a democracy which holds private property, including the assets of a corporation, as the highest form of freedom, the government can't take that property without due process.

    This process is handled through the court systems, which works with lawyers and Judges, and juries. The only lawyers that work for the government are criminal prosecutors, and they make less than corporate lawyers. So government lawyers would only be involved in a criminal case against a private corporation.

    Therefore, in civil suites, corporations get get the best private attorneys money can buy. This includes lobbying the government to pass certain laws in their favor. And the corporations that pay for the right lawyers, can get away with anything they want and $$$.

    So, in reality, in the American capitalist system of government, it's the government that's beholden to private interests, since they make more money.

    If you can't see this, you've been watching too much Fox News.

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