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Posts published in “Q&A”

Q&A: ACLU’s Jay Stanley

‘Spy Plane’ Surveillance of Baltimore is a Gross Invasion of Privacy

By C.J. Thompson

Last of two parts.

Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, warns that the Baltimore Police Department’s aerial surveillance program violates the U.S. Constitution. In today’s report, Stanley discusses the department’s covert test run in 2016 and the implications for other cities.

Did the Baltimore Police Department’s covert test of the surveillance program produce any evidence of effectiveness? 

I don’t think there was definitive evidence that it was a huge success. That’s why (Police Commissioner Michael Harrison) is selling this as a “test.”

They’re bringing in entities to do studies and are taking the pose that, ‘We don’t know whether it will work or not and we’ll make a judgment once the data is in.’

That’s undermined by the fact that they want to press forward during the COVID lockdown. If they really wanted to get representative data, they would wait until city life was (back to) normal.

It suggests that they’re not very serious about this just being a test.

They intend to press forward with it regardless.