The Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill greatly expanding the ability of state’s police departments to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to surveil any large gathering of people.
The measure targets any public or private assembly of at least 1,500 people. The House had defeated a previous version of the bill last week after Chicago-area Democrats, wary that additional police drones would unfairly target events in predominately black neighborhoods, objected to the bill’s allowance of facial-recognition software and a much lower threshold for crowd sizes.
The Illinois Senate passed a version of the bill, which is backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and law-enforcement groups throughout the state, earlier this month.
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