Appeals court hears Baltimore's aerial surveillance case

Appeals court hears Baltimore's aerial surveillance case

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Thursday appeared to have differing views on whether an aerial surveillance program in Baltimore should continue to be tested as a crime-fighting tool.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, heard oral arguments remotely in an appeal from a federal district court decision denying a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to temporarily block the pilot program of the Baltimore Police Department.

The ACLU, on behalf of a grassroots organization and area activists, sued the department and its leader in April to stop the test from kicking off.

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The arguments at Thursday’s hearing centered on whether the program violates people’s reasonable expectation of privacy regarding movement, and results in indiscriminate searches without a warrant.

Under the six-month test that began in May, aircraft outfitted with wide-angle cameras are sweeping over Baltimore during the day to capture images at a rate of

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