Over the course of the last two weeks, enormous crowds have gathered in a number of US cities, protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department.
The incident was a grim and troubling one, that was captured on a now viral video that has been seen the world over. Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, all while the man suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill pleaded that he could not breathe and that he was going to die. For the last two minutes of Chauvin’s kneeling, George Floyd was simply unresponsive.
The scene was angering, to say the least, and demonstrations the likes of which America had never seen before erupted.
— Dana Whyte (@dwhytereports) June 6, 2020
But now, as the dust settles on this weekend’s massive crowd uptick, it has been revealed that the Department of Homeland Security had utilized military equipment to keep eyes on these peaceful Americans.
In a June 5 letter to DHS acting Secretary Chad Wolf, the lawmakers, led by Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., suggested the drone deployment violated federal law and questioned whether the agency captured full-motion video of the protesters or employed facial recognition technology on them.
The lawmakers called DHS’ deployment a “gross abuse of authority” and demanded “a full accounting of its activities by June 11.”
“The drone that was flown on May 29, 2020, was reportedly also flown far outside the bounds of [Customs and Border Protection’s] jurisdiction. Federal law authorizes CBP to conduct its missions within a ‘reasonable distance,’ not to exceed more than 100 air miles inland, from an external boundary of the United States,” the letter states.
Democrats were also demanding information regarding the surveillance operations used to identify potential extremists in the crowds, who were responsible for turning the otherwise peaceful protests to chaos as night fell.
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