Drones documenting & deterring police misconduct during peaceful assembly.

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Police misconduct and brutality directed at peaceful protesters is a significant problem worldwide. Documenting and reporting police violence can lead to justice for the victims as well as deter future brutality. However, most police brutality goes undocumented and unreported.

From the Rodney King beating to the 2004 Republican Convention protests to the G20 London protests to Occupy protests, video evidence has been used to convict abusive police and exonerate wrongfully accused protesters. is a tool for collecting video evidence to document and deter police misconduct.

The system consists of three major pieces:

  • One or more small, reliable unmanned drones (remote control helicopters) carrying video cameras.
  • A mobile app that can be used by protestors to send a distress signal indicating that police misconduct is taking place nearby.
  • Easy-to-use ground control station software that displays a map of distress calls and lets one or more operators/coordinators dispatch drones to trouble spots and record video.

The hardware consists of standard off-the-shelf components and the software is entirely open source. Your contribution will help fund the software development and system integration for this open solution.

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Does this have something to do with sousveillance?

Yes. can be described as a sousveillance tool.

Is this an occucopter?

The occucopter is a similar idea, but differs significantly in the details. uses more capable hardware, including a high definition camera, and custom software tailored to its mission.

Is this legal?

Laws for private drone use vary around the world. In the United States, as long as the drone is not flown as part of any commercial activity and it is kept below 400 feet, it complies with FAA rules ("Federal Register Notice, Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System", FAA).

Additionally, in the U.S. typically it is not required to ask or receive permission to take pictures or video of public places ("Filming and Photographing the Police", ACLU).


If you have further questions about, please email

Twitter: @CivilEyesMe

Los Angeles, CA