Public Defender to Police: Suspend Use of Surveillance Plane

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s public defender’s office is asking the police department to suspend its use of a private plane that had until last week been flying above the city streets recording aerial surveillance without the public’s knowledge.

Baltimore Deputy Public Defender Natalie Finegar sent Commissioner Kevin Davis and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby a copy of the written request Monday.

In the letter Finegar writes that the program should not continue without “in-depth conversations” and that without judicial approval in the form of a warrant or court order, analysts should not view footage. Finegar also asked Davis to turn over all information in cases where images captured by the surveillance plane were used.

The program, run by private firm Persistent Surveillance Systems, was first disclosed in a Bloomberg Businessweek article last week.

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