U.S. Marshals Used Drones to Spy on Black Lives Matter Protests in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Marshals Used Drones to Spy on Black Lives Matter Protests in Washington, D.C.

US Marshals service flew unmanned drones over Washington, D.C., in response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act show.

The documents — two brief, heavily redacted emails — indicate the Marshals flew the drones over Washington on June 5 and 7, when nationwide protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder were at their height. The surveillance flights occurred just days after the Trump administration ordered the mobilization of the near entirety of federal law enforcement against Washington’s protesters. The aggressive physical crackdown against Black Lives Matter rallies, particularly in Washington, D.C., spurred its own wave of outrage as police beat, chased, and chemically dispersed largely peaceful demonstrators

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