Measure To Let Chicago Use Drones Over Crowds Fails

May 25, 2018 - 5:08 pm

SPRINGFIELD (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There’s not enough support at the Capitol to give police in Chicago the authority to look at large crowds by using drones.

Inspired by the Las Vegas shootings, State Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) says this is a good public safety measure, but Rep. Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago) is skeptical.

“What assurances do we have that the mayor and the chief of police and other law enforcement officers are not going to just be sending drones up whenever they want to, thinking that -- or at least alleging that -- they have to check on the density of the crowd?” Thapedi asked.

“Well, for one, they’ve got to apply for a permit from the federal government,” D’Amico answered. “This large-scale event? That number -- that 100 number – that was a recommendation by the ACLU.”

Another lawmaker called the bill Orwellian. The bill fell six votes short of passage.