Posted on April 10, 2020

ACLU Files a Lawsuit Against Baltimore Police Department over Surveillance Planes

Tiffany Watson, Fox Baltimore, April 9, 2020

On Thursday, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore Police Department to challenge the constitutionality of deploying a wide-area aerial surveillance program in Baltimore residents under constant, aerial surveillance.


The suit was filed on behalf of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, grassroots think tank that advances the public policy interests of Black people in Baltimore, Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire 365 project, and Kevin James, a community organizer and hip-hop musician.

The BPD has contracted with a private company, Persistent Surveillance Systems, to pilot this “Aerial Investigation Research” program. PSS’ high-resolution, camera-equipped planes will fly over the entire city of Baltimore at least 40 hours a week.


{snip} The BPD has stated the program’s intended purpose is to aid in solving criminal investigations. {snip}