The surveillance drone is flying in a circle above the city, which has broken out in protests over the police killing of George Floyd.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is flying a Predator drone, military technology used for surveilling and killing terrorists abroad, over Minneapolis as protesters continue to demonstrate against police brutality, according to publicly available flight data. The drone flown over Minneapolis is an unarmed version of the aircraft.
The drone was first spotted on a flight tracking tool by members of the ADS-B Exchange, a community of flight watchers who use open-source flight data to monitor America's skies. Presumably, the drone is surveilling protests there, though CBP did not respond to a request for comment about what the drone is doing there.
"CBP Predator Drone CPB104 circling over Minneapolis at 20K feet," Jason Paladino, an investigative reporter at The Project on Government Oversight tweeted on Friday. "Took off from Grand Forks Air Force Base."
These latest protests come after a white police officer killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, earlier this week. The officer and three others involved in the incident were fired; on Friday, the Associated Press reported that the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck had been arrested.
Motherboard verified the flight path of CPB-104 with flight data from ADS-B Exchange, a repository of unfiltered flight data. The drone took off from the Air Force Base before making several hexagonal-shaped flyovers around Minneapolis, according to the data. At the time of writing, the drone is still above the city.
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