Drone protesters shut down LA Police Commission meeting

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Commission meeting was twice interrupted on Tuesday by people protesting drones and continued funding being approved for the cadet program.

"Three hundred and eighty thousands dollars to do more of the same," one man said during the meeting.

The commissioners had to leave the room due to the protesters, and one of the men threw his notebook at the commissioners. Others stood up and began chanting, "Fire Chief Beck." The meeting resumed at about 10:45 a.m.

The LAPD cadet program has been plagued with problems, including a scandal involving a veteran officer and an underage girl. But Chief Charlie Beck has said that the program is "here to stay."

The original reason for the protest was a presentation and discussion of a proposal for a pilot program using drones. About two dozen protesters held signs before the meeting outside police headquarters to say that LAPD should not be using drones as a tactical tool.

"None of the communities of color were surveyed to see if they were OK with this drone situation," said Martha Camacho-Rodriguez, a special education teacher.

Beck said today was only the beginning of the discussion as to where and how drones would be used. Since the L.A. County Sheriff's Department began using them in January, deputies have used them for search and rescues.
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