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Spy Drones Used To Hunt Down Christopher Dorner 498

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Express reports that as a task force of 125 officers continue their search for Christopher Dorner in the rugged terrain around Big Bear, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil. 'The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him,' says a senior police source. 'On the ground, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.' The use of drones was confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began. 'This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement.' Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for lying about a fellow officer he accused of misconduct, has vowed to wreak revenge by 'killing officers and their families.' According to San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon: 'To be honest, he could be anywhere right now. Torching his own vehicle could have been a diversion to throw us off track. Anything is possible with this man.'"
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Spy Drones Used To Hunt Down Christopher Dorner

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  • not the first one (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:04PM (#42861663)


    "In June 2011 a county sheriff in North Dakota was trying to track down three men, possibly carrying guns, in connection with some missing cows. He had a lot of ground to cover, so — as one does — he called in a Predator drone from a local Air Force base. It not only spotted the men but could see that they were in fact unarmed. It was the first time a Predator had been involved in the arrest of U.S. citizens."

  • Uncomfortable (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dexter Herbivore ( 1322345 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:04PM (#42861665) Journal
    This comes uncomfortably closely after the latest announcement of the drone authorisation map. [extremetech.com]
  • Re:Fascinating stuff (Score:5, Informative)

    by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:23PM (#42861997)

    He believes the LAPD ruined his life, because he accused his trainer of beating up a civilian while he was doing his first week mentorship, and those charges were dropped after an investigation revealed that they were false. The "ruining his life" part comes because the LAPD then dismissed him for making a false charge: they felt he was a risk to have on the force.

    Regardless of whether the civilian in question was actually assaulted as he accuses, this incident kind of proves their point...

  • Re:not the first one (Score:5, Informative)

    by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:23PM (#42862007)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act [wikipedia.org]

    "In December 1981, additional laws were enacted clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies and the Coast Guard, especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, and aircraft, as well as intelligence support, technological aid, and surveillance) while generally prohibiting direct participation of Department of Defense personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, a U.S. Navy vessel may be used to track, follow, and stop a vessel suspected of drug smuggling, but Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) embarked aboard the Navy vessel would perform the actual boarding and, if needed, arrest the suspect vessel's crew."

    Sounds to me like requesting assistance of an aircraft and intelligence support is perfectly fine as long as the Sheriff in question is who made the arrest and not someone from the Air-force.

  • Re:No problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by lennier1 ( 264730 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:30PM (#42862125)

    Keep shooting random civilians until you find this man.

    They're already way ahead of you
    Victim 1: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-torrance-shooting-20130209,0,4414028.story [latimes.com]
    Victim 2: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-torrance-shooting-20130210,0,3955268.story [latimes.com]

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:46PM (#42862437)

    The Posse Comitatus Act is coupled with, and defined by, the Insurrection Act of 1807. Basically, it limits the president's power. The North Dakota sheriff in question here is likely not the president.

    This is wildly inaccurate. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits anyone from using the army or air force for law enforcement purposes without specific legal (Constitutional or statutory) authorization (18 USC Sec. 1385: "Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. "); since the Insurrection Act grants specific powers to the President in this regard (see 10 USC Sec. 331-336), the Posse Comitatus Act, viewed in conjunction with the Insurrection Act, limits the President less than anyone else, not more.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:55PM (#42862561)

    He's not an evil cop- he tried to report an evil cop who kicked a suspect in the face. The rest of the cops, who were also evil, kicked him out.

  • Re:Fascinating stuff (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:58PM (#42862595) Homepage Journal

    Also noted in TFA, police wounded a mother and daughter when they opened fire on a similar looking pickup truck without verifying their target. Perhaps that's why LAPD is so unpopular.

    It's the sort of thing that makes one wonder if his report was actually false in the first place.

  • Re:Uncomfortable (Score:3, Informative)

    by EdZ ( 755139 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @04:20PM (#42864069)

    as much video surveillance as London

    So, most of the cameras are either broken or dummies, the vast majority of the rest are recorded at 1 fps with 4 cameras to a 320x240 MJPEG file, and none of these are networked to any centralised agency. Maybe 1% - or a fraction of - are both of useful quality, externally directable, and remotely addressable from a central agency or location.

    Yeah, we've got a lot of surveillance. But it's almost all shit surveillance.

  • Re:Fascinating stuff (Score:4, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @04:28PM (#42864207)
    The victim was an unreliable witness because of his mental problems, the victim's father based his testimony on the victim's statements (meaning that the father's testimony was of limited value). That being said, those statements lend credibility to Dorner's complaint. However, weighed against that is the fact that he made the allegation two weeks after the incident and the day after his mentor had given him an evaluation that critiqued him for certain aspects of his learning to do the job (the mentor evaluated him as "satisfactory" but it is likely that when they explained his evaluation to him they explained to him that his shortcomings were critical and failure to improve them could cost him his job).
  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @04:32PM (#42864257)

    Corrupt police railroading a cop that tried to expose their corruption, but because the law enforcement itself was corrupt, he uses 2nd amendment solutions.

    How does murdering a basketball coach and her fiancé fit into that?

    I don't really like gun nuts, but only the loopiest ones would say that Dorner is doing anything other than trying to get revenge for his perceived persecution.

!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH