Marshals Service flew unmanned drones over Washington, D.C., in response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act show.
The aggressive physical crackdown against Black Lives Matter rallies, particularly in Washington, D.C., spurred its own wave of outrage as police beat, chased, and chemically dispersed largely peaceful demonstrators.
One email provided by the Marshals Service is dated June 5 and carries the subject line “UAS Status for Protests,” apparently referring to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, common military jargon for drones.
Marshals Service would be flying drones over mass gatherings of First Amendment-protected activity in the nation’s capital.
Marshals Service tested two small drones in remote areas to help them track fugitives,” but the test was “abandoned … after both drones crashed.”
Another document provided to the ACLU noted that the marshals deployed surveillance drones through their Technical Operations Group, or TOG, which “provides the U.S.
The Marshals’ spokesperson, however, told The Intercept, “No USMS UAS flights were conducted at the request of any other agency.” »