FBI Releases Aerial Surveillance Footage of Baltimore Protests
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a “complete collection” of aerial surveillance footage from several nights of protests after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore last year.
The video released on the FBI’s website includes footage from April 29, 2015 through May 3, 2015. The footage does not cover the protests that broke out on April 27, the day of Gray’s funeral. The rioting, looting and arson lead to a curfew being instituted and the National Guard being brought in.
The videos were released after Freedom of Information Act requests were filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and The Baltimore Sun. The video, which varies in quality, shows large crowds marching through the streets of Baltimore and a large force of police officers on scene.
The FBI admitted to providing an aircraft for surveillance in the weeks after the unrest when Baltimore natives began asking questions about the amount of unusual flights above the city. In October, documents were released that showed the aircraft made 10 flights and recorded more than 36 hours of footage, mostly at night. They used video as well as infrared images and even included a member of Baltimore Police on their flights.
Wessler and Dwork, a speech, privacy and technology undergraduate ACLU intern, said on Thursday that the released videos "offer a rare and comprehensive view of the workings of a government surveillance operation." They also said the release "addresses some questions" and "leaves others unanswered."
See the videos released by the FBI at https://vault.fbi.gov/protests-in-baltimore-maryland-2015/unedited-versions-of-video-surveillance-footage.