A camera-equipped drone could’ve spotted Robert Eugene Crimo III on a building rooftop overlooking the parade before he fired 83 shots that killed seven people and wounded 48 more.
Could the 2022 massacre during Highland Park’s July Fourth parade have been prevented with a small change to Illinois state law?
It’s never been publicly reported before, but several local sources confirmed this week that Highland Park Police Chief Louis Jogmen wanted to send a city-owned drone above the parade last year. That camera-equipped drone could’ve spotted Robert Eugene Crimo III on a building rooftop overlooking the parade before he allegedly fired 83 shots that killed seven people and wounded 48 more. But the chief couldn’t launch that drone because of state law.
Jogmen’s police department has for years wanted to launch the camera drone, which the city uses for search-and-rescue and other emergencies, to fly over major public events. But state law prohibits law enforcement agencies from using the drones for things like event surveillance.
In other words, state law allows police to use drones in the aftermath of horrific and deadly mass shootings, but not to safeguard the public before they happen.
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Be sure to visit the BWU Technology Partnerships Initiative website to learn more about how our NEOFIX program drives economic growth, promotes policy and infrastructure to improve drone safety and efficiency in various industries, and ensures that drone technology is being used responsibly.