S-1867 & A Predator Drone Used on A Family in North Dakota

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What does Anwar al-Awlaki and a North Dakota family, who wouldn’t give back six cows, have in common?

THIS IS A GOOD ONE, YOU’LL NEVER GUESS.

They were both tracked down and intercepted by a military predator drone. In the case of the North Dakota family, there was also a SWAT team, a bomb squad, sheriffs, you name it.

Apparently, the local police can use predator drones without approval by Congress. Well, Congress does think we’re a battlefield now.

Is this overkill and a dangerous precedent or am I missing something? Isn’t there some privacy right violated here?

Drones cost $4.5 million to $15 million apiece and we’re using them to track down 6 cows and arrest a family who allegedly had the cows because they wandered onto their property??? The family are known separatists. Last I heard it was legal to be a separatist and this law enforcement technique won’t change their opinion.

In all fairness, there was evidence of armed gunmen chasing the sheriff off their property. Still, is this an overreaction? The LA Times and Daily Mail reported on the story.

KrisAnne has the story  –

by KrisAnne Hall – www.krisannehall.com

December 12, 2011

I have voiced my firm opposition to SB1867 because of its potential use against US citizens, I have been called an extremist, a chicken little, etc. Now RT, a Russian news media source, has posted an article that made my hair stand on end. In June of this year, a predator drone was used by local law enforcement to facilitate the arrest of a North Dakota Family.

RT reports“This is the first time in American history that an unmanned aircraft has been used to assist police in making an arrest on US soil.” As if to assure the reader that this isn’t a misprint, the report continues with “By “drone” we do mean military reconnaissance and assault flying machine used by the US Army (sic) and the CIA, mostly abroad…To be precise, this is the same Predator drone that the US Army (sic) uses in military missions across Afghanistan, Pakistan and any other theater…” 

Local law enforcement using a military drone – is this some military sci-fi novel we’re reading?  Nope. Apparently DHS has been using these drones in the states for YEARS, yet this story is noticeably absent from American media sources.  Thanks to RT, we now know the truth.  Here’s how it went:

The local Sheriff, Kelly Janke, ran into some trouble while looking for some wandering cows, six cows to be exact.  Fortunately for the local sheriff, the Predator drone was returning to Grand Forks Air Base from a mission on the US/Canada border and had some fuel left, so what the hey, let’s send it to North Dakota to look for some cows.  Really?

According to local reports, these cows were not alleged to be stolen, they had wandered onto the Brossart farm.  According to certain local reports, Mr. Brossart believed these animals to be unclaimed and, in accordance with certain open range laws, the cattle belonged to him. When questioned in court, he answered repeatedly, that the cattle were “his property.”  Because of this property dispute, legally speaking, this is now a civil matter.  Yet, the Sheriff’s office served a criminal warrant to look for these cows.

When Mr. Brossart refused to honor the warrant, he was tazed and placed into custody.  Mr. Brossart was not armed.  Mr. Brossart’s sons also refused to honor the warrant, and told law enforcement officers to get off the property.  Initial reports say the boys had long guns, and later reports claim high powered rifles.  This all resulted in a standoff where no shots were fired and no one was harmed.

Now, as a former prosecutor, who has a deep respect and appreciation for law enforcement and the dangers they face, I understand the problem with people brandishing guns in the presence of officers.  But it appears to me that the situation was incited by criminalizing a civil dispute.  This was reasonably a civil dispute over livestock ownership which would require a review by a judge and full hearing involving all parties before property is taken.  But here is the really disturbing part.  The next morning, a tip to law enforcement told officers that the boys were out on tractors harvesting and were not armed.  Did the officers now come to the property and attempt to serve this warrant peaceably?   No, they responded with MASSIVE force.

Next thing they knew – a mini army and a Predator B drone have been called in.  State Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulance, deputy sheriffs from three other counties and a drone arrived at the scene, reports the Los Angeles Times.”

I have been involved with law enforcement as a prosecutor for nearly nine years.  NEVER did I see such a display of force over a civil dispute involving “stray cows”.  And what did this assault team find?  Exactly what they were told, boys harvesting and no weapons and…

“A search of the property turned up four rifles, two shotguns, assorted bows and arrows and a samurai sword, according to court records. Police also found the six missing cows, valued at $6,000.”

There you have it, a small Army called out to subdue cattle rustlers who have four rifles, two shotguns, assorted bows and arrows, and a samurai sword on their 3,000-acre farm. Huh?  All this over cows? Read more here: KrisAnneHall.com

 


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