For more than two years, Bob Meola has been working to get the Berkeley, CA City Council to ban drones that can be used for surveillance and/or to carry weapons. At the time he started in 2012, it seemed possible that Berkeley would be among the first cities in the U.S. to impose such a ban. But that was not to be.
On February 24, 2015 the Berkeley City Council passed a one-year ban on police use of drones, pending developing a policy that would enable police to use drones. The council also approved use of drones by firemen, which Bob thinks will be used by police if they want to. Berkeley council passes one-year moratorium on police drones
“We have asked for NO DRONES, NO POLICE USE OF DRONES,” said Bob, “and their moratorium entails coming up with a policy for POLICE USE OF DRONES while they still haven’t tackled the issues around comprehensive drone policy in Berkeley.”
“They ignored all the good stuff in our recommendations re not using info obtained by a drone in state and federal criminal investigations without a valid warrant based on probable cause,” he said. “They ignored asking the state to establish a two-year drone moratorium.”
Bob, a member of Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission, is disgusted. He concluded an email report of the proceeding: “LONG LIVE ANARCHY.”