This armed MSP helicopter patrol of the City of Grand Rapids has not done the job of making it's civilians feel any safer. In fact, it has disturbed the peace more than the small crimes it may or may not prevent. While MSP was hovering over my neighborhood of Leonard/Plainfield, a successful armed robbery took place in the Leonard/Fuller area and the criminal is currently on the run.
The helicopter patrol failed to prevent or catch any criminals but did succeed in violating the rights of the people of the city by deliberately looking into homes with their search light. Not only did they violate our right to privacy in our own homes, a right afforded to us by the United States Constitution, but they also disturbed the peace, spread panic in the civilians, instilled a sense in us that we must be surveyed for our own protection and flew at intimidating tree-top altitudes..
The MSP helicopter is "equipped with a sophisticated global positioning system, an infrared camera and a 30-million candle power spotlight. At night, the pilots wear night vision goggles." The officers are also equipped with their regulation hand guns as well as a Rifle. The MSP told local news reporters that they will "not necessarily be shooting from the air." This is a bold and terrifying statement, on the possibility that these air patrolers may open fire on civilians in the city from the helicopter if they see fit. This must be stopped.
GRAAP started this petition with a single signature, and now has 592 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.