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The New York Police Department is being accused of intruding on people’s first amendment rights Labor Day Weekend.

They took their drones and monitored people’s parties that were happening in their backyards. There had been complaints about disorderly private events, so their solution was to violate their right to privacy.

The NYPD Assistant Commissioner, Kaz Daughtry, said officers would be ‘utilizing our assets’ to go and check up on parties.

The backlash was immediate from civil liberty groups. The action of monitoring people’s backyards raised concerns over privacy.

The police mentioned that they planned on using the drones to survey again. They will be using them to monitor a Caribbean festival in Brooklyn.

In a press conference about the festival, Assistant Commissioner Daughtry said, “If a caller states there’s a large crowd, a large party in a backyard, we’re going to be utilizing our assets to go up and go check on the party.”

He added that the drones would respond to “non-priority and priority calls” beyond the parade route.

Daniel Schwarz, a privacy and technology strategist at the New York Civil Liberties Union, challenged the proposal to use drones to monitor backyard parties.

“It’s a troubling announcement and it flies in the face of the POST Act,” he said, referring to a 2020 city law that requires the NYPD to disclose its surveillance tactics.

“Deploying drones in this way is a sci-fi inspired scenario.”

To hear Tony Katz’s thoughts on the police using drones to survey people’s backyards, click the link below.