Emerging technologies such as aerial drones with facial recognition software and gunshot detection systems have revolutionized law enforcement in New York over the past few years. They can help keep track of fleeing suspects, observe protesters and access areas that would be impossible for police officers to reach. However, growing concerns exist about how they may undermine citizens’ civil rights.
Understanding your civil rights
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement must have probable cause or a warrant to search for your person, property, home or office. Without these precautions in place, police officers are unable to enter personal property without permission.
Police drones violate this amendment as they can observe people without first obtaining a warrant. Basically, they are tracking people without their knowledge, intruding on private property, and disregarding citizens’ civil rights to privacy. In addition, the potential for abuse of civil liberties is high because of the lack of oversight.
What to do
If a police officer obtained information that could incriminate you from a drone search without a warrant or probable cause, you can ask the court to dismiss the case. This is known as a motion to suppress evidence, and it could potentially lead to dismissing your charges or reducing them.
Alternatively, you can file a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) so that they can examine your case and suggest possible actions to respond to the violation. You can do this online through their website or contact them directly for assistance.
Finally, it’s a good idea to stay informed about state laws regarding drones and other surveillance technologies so that you know what your rights are and better ways to protect yourself. While police have an important job to do, they must also respect citizens’ civil rights when using emerging technology such as drones.
Although some may view drones as a necessary tool for law enforcement, it is absolutely essential to ensure that law enforcement respects your civil rights and that your safety is not compromised. A well-crafted legal framework must take into account all of the potential implications of these technologies to provide New Yorkers with adequate protection from possible violations of their rights.