Air Force investigates military planes that monitored Minneapolis, D.C. protests
June 19, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Air Force inspector general is investigating whether the military improperly used a little-known reconnaissance plane to monitor protests in Washington and Minneapolis this month, the Air Force said on Thursday.
The inquiry was apparently prompted by lawmakers who expressed concerns to Pentagon officials that the use of military surveillance airplanes may have violated the civil liberties of the mostly peaceful protesters demonstrating against the police killings of black Americans.
"Following discussions with the secretary of defense about shared concerns, the secretary of the Air Force is conducting an investigation into the use of Air National Guard RC-26 aircraft to support civil authorities during recent protest activity in U.S. cities," said Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the chief Air Force spokesman.