The Air Force Inspector General will investigate the use of of surveillance planes to monitor Black Lives Matter Protestors in D.C. and Minneapolis earlier this month, the New York Times reported.
The probe will look at how and why the Air Force’s RC-26 aircraft — armed with electronic surveillance capabilities and high-powered cameras — was deployed to provide live footage to FBI and military officials.
The Times reported that the plane — which is typically used for missions like countering drug smuggling — was able to beam live, detailed video to FBI officials in Washington monitoring the protests.
One plane deployed to Minneapolis was flown by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who has been tweeting angrily about the scandal caused by the use of military surveillance aircraft on U.S. citizens.
I offered to talk to Sen. Chris Murphy about this, but seems he was more interested in the headline. The IG is “investigating” at his request. Will be interesting to read his retraction when dismissed. Proud to have protected my Guard family from above, they deserve no less. https://t.co/G4ZerYoZ2O
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) June 19, 2020
The Times reported that “an elite Special Operations unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard” was deployed to Washington as well, to provide unspecified support to the plane’s mission.
The investigation comes as the D.C. national guard prepares a final report on the use of another military asset — helicopters — to buzz protestors in Washington on June 1.
Read the Times report here.