Bill would limit use of police drones in Minnesota

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A bill that would limit state law enforcement agencies from using drones to gather evidence was introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

The proposed legislation authored by three Republican state senators also prohibits evidence gained by using the unmanned aircraft from being used during a criminal trial.

There are a few exceptions listed: terrorism investigations, when a warrant is obtained and when there is imminent danger to life, property or ability to apprehend a suspect.

MPR reports law enforcement agencies in Minnesota have been eyeing the possibilities of drones, but use of the unmanned police surveillance aircraft remains limited in the United States.

Across the border in Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota is leading the country in drone research and is assisting the FAA in developing guidelines for domestic, non-military drones.

The university has been operating drones since 2005 for agricultural and flood research. Last year, one of the first reported cases of arrests made with the help of a surveillance drone happened in the small North Dakota city of Lakota.

Lawmakers in at least 11 states are considering similar legislation to restrict the use of drones due to privacy concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union say that police drones could be exploited to spy on Americans.

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