D'oh! Police Drone Crashes Into Police SWAT Team

Editor's note: this incident occurred in March. Sorry for the confusion.


In a recent investigative report by the Center for Responsive Politics and Hearst newspapers, the authors expressed concern that drones were being pushed into the domestic market before safety and ethics issues had been sufficiently addressed. Such fears were confirmed this week when the first police department in the country to acquire an aerial drone crashed the $300,000 aircraft into its own SWAT team.

The Montgomery County sheriff’s office in Texas had planned a big photo opportunity with their newly acquired surveillance drone. It all went horrible wrong when, according to the Examiner, “[The] prototype drone was flying about 18 feet off the ground [and] it lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground. It’s designed to go into an auto shutdown mode … but when it was coming down, the drone crashed into the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.” (The SWAT team had suited up, armored vehicle on hand, for the purpose of the photo.)

“Not only did the drone fail, and not only did it crash, it literally crashed into the police. It’s no wonder we’re not able to find a video of this spectacular publicity failure,” noted Gizmodo.

No one was injured but the incident nonetheless highlights concerns about the domestic proliferation of drone technology. The CRP–Hearst report explicitly listed collisions as a concern insufficiently addressed by lawmakers in the so-called “drone caucus,” who have pushed an agenda to hurry drones into the hands of police departments and private corporations.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.