It was another quiet summer day in Nelson County, North Dakota last June when a few cows and their calves meandered onto Randy Brossart’s farm. But when police showed up at the farm to retrieve the cattle, County Sheriff Kelly Janke says that he and his deputies were chased off by three gun-toting Brossart boys.
Here’s what happened next according to an item ran in the Grand Forks Herald:
Fearful of an armed standoff, Janke called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, the Grand Forks regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three counties.
He also called in a Predator B drone.
The call for a drone was received by the Border Patrol which fulfilled Janke’s request. The McClatchy story explains what happened next.
As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead, its sensors helped pinpoint the suspects, showing they were unarmed.
Janke said he and other officers rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.
The use of drones on U.S. citizens within American borders is alarming to privacy and civil liberty advocates. “Only the guilty have reason to fear!,” writes Brian Doherty on the libertarian site Reason.
Here’s an enthusiastic explainer on the Predator’s use in combat.