The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition is asking Los Angelenos to take action to keep drones out of the hands of the LASD. They have issued the following action alert:
EMAIL & PHONE CALLS TO LA SHERIFF’S CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT COMMISSION – ASAP
The LA Sheriff’s Department Civilian Oversight Commission is currently deciding on the use of Drones by the LA Sheriff’s. Please take a few minutes to send emails and make phone calls to the following commission members demanding they reject the use of Drones by the Sheriff’s.
- Commission main email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commissioner Lael Rubin: email@example.com
- Commissioner Heather Miller: heathermiller11@mac.
- Commissioner Priscilla Ocen: Priscilla.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commissioner Hernan Vera: email@example.com
Please copy and paste the subject line and email script below:
Subject Line: Say No to Sheriff’s Drones
Email script: I am extremely concerned about the use of Drones by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. I demand that the Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission urgently take action and reject the use of drones under any circumstances by the LA Sheriff.
PHONE NUMBERS TO CALL:
- Commission main Number: (213) 893-2525
- Commissioner Lael Rubin: (213) 379-1947
- Commissioner Heather Miller: (818) 312-8388
- Commissioner Priscilla Ocen: (213) 736-1186
- Commissioner Hernan Vera: (310) 210-2100
Phone script: (Please leave message if voicemail comes on)
I am calling to tell you that I am extremely concerned about the use of Drones by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. I demand that the Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission urgently take action and reject the use of drones under any circumstances by the LA Sheriff.
WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED?
- The LASD is one the most militarized police departments in the world using massive amount of tactical weapons, and human and electronic surveillance technology. The addition of Drones would further signify the structural and operational formation of LASD as an occupying institution that operates as a counter-insurgency force.
- The LASD is in the process of creating a massive facial recognition and biometric database with the capacity to hold information on 15 million individuals. This will be the largest database platform of any law enforcement agency outside of the FBI.
- In August 2015 North Dakota passed legislation to arm police drones with “non-lethal” weapons such as tasers and rubber bullets.
- The State of Connecticut is currently passing legislation to arm police Drones with lethal weapons.
- A June 2014 report from American Civil Liberties Union, “The War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing,” gives a stark example of mission creep revealing the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams very often deployed—unnecessarily and aggressively—to execute search warrants in low-level drug investigations.
- In 2014 it was revealed that in 2012 LASD secretly used a small aircraft equipped with mass surveillance technology over a period of two weeks over the City of Compton, CA. This was a flagrant violation of privacy of Compton residents.
- Since 2012, the LA Sheriff’s Department has ranked amongst the top five police departments in the country for killing the most people, while leading the country with most killings in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 LASD ranked second in the country for killing the most people, falling behind the Los Angeles Police Department.
- There have been countless examples of community members calling LASD in moments of crisis that have resulted in lethal use of force against the very people requesting help for themselves and/or their loved ones.
- For more than four decades LASD has been a target of court decisions, lawsuits and federal investigations. Most recently there have been several indictments, convictions, and resignations of several Sheriff’s Deputies, the former Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka and the former Sheriff Lee Baca.
Safety and Trauma:
- Drones are globally associated with death and destruction. In the people’s consciousness, drones represent the murder of thousands of people including children.
- According to a Washington Post study, 400 U.S. military drones crashed in major accidents worldwide between Sept. 11, 2001 and December 2013.
- Recent reports by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have highlighted the increasing menace in our skies by private user of Drones resulting in dangerously close call with airliners, 700 just between January and August of 2015. The FAA “has acknowledged growing concern about the problem and its inability to do much to tame it.”