Peppery Pacification: New Crowd-Control Drones In India Feature Pepper Spray

Some police departments used to strive for "less-lethal" weaponry, leading to an influx of options like bean-bag guns, LRAD sound cannons, and all varieties of sprays and chemicals to subdue (but not kill) their targets.  Now, that premise has taken flight on a whole new level: pepper-spray drones.

We can't even control cops that over-use pepper spray...will machines do any better?
(Image courtesy politicalblindspot.com.)



As reported by the Mirror, Indian police have now added a variant to death from above:  scorching, stinging pain from above, via drones bearing canisters of pepper spray.  The police forces of Lucknow, in Northern India, have five such flying furies.

Each drone has the capacity to carry two kilos of pepper spray as well as onboard cameras, to better assess targets.  Well, it's at least nice they're not firing pepper spray into civilian crowds indiscriminately.

The pepper spray is non-lethal but causes extreme pain and possibly temporary blindness.  Police who tested the devices say that the results were "brilliant."  The drones are able to disperse their peppery payload from a variety of heights for better saturation or wind exposure.

Smile for the camera!  Don't let the pepper spray make you blink!
(Image courtesy popularmechanics.com.)

While the police maintain that the drones are merely to be used for surveillance and crowd control during religious festivals, other nations have rules that prohibit such flights over large groups.  In the UK, drones cannot be present near public groups of over 1,000 people, or within 150 meters of a congested area.  South Africa, on the other hand, is on board with drones that fire pepper paintballs.  Across the pond, America is still sorting out the rules regarding drone use state-by-state.  However, the FAA have laid some ground (well, air) rules.

But those rules, as they become more stringent for the public, may be swayed at a larger level by things like business interests seeking expansions for delivery drone rules, and of course the ever-popular Threats To National Security loopholes for law enforcement.  Who's to say that once this technology becomes more reliable, western cops won't let their drone crowd-control aspirations soar?  Best to keep our eyes on the skies to make sure this doesn't happen, lest we get blinded by what we find up there...

Surely we could try to, you know, fix the issues that cause mass protests, right?
Maybe?
(Image courtesy article.wn.com.)



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