The Golden Valley Police Department used a drone on July 10 to catch nudists on a beach at Twin Lake, Minnesota.
A statement from the City of Golden Valley said that policy have received complaints about illegal behavior on the beach for decades and had administered 40 citations on the beach in the past year. “It had reached the point where it was time for people to be held accountable for their actions,” Golden Valley Police Det. Sgt. Randy Mahlen said t0 CBS Minnesota. (RELATED: Topless Woman Allegedly Saves Family From Drowning)
“We saw a drone go up. We didn’t think anything of it because everyone has those now,” Kristian Calbert a beach-goer who had her information collected by police officers while at the beach, said to Kare 11, “Maybe ten minutes later, we hear, ‘we think police are coming.'”
The statement by the City of Golden Valley says that “police use drones to promote public safety and collect evidence, especially in difficult to access areas, and as a de-escalation tool.” Police have been using drones more frequently during the coronavirus pandemic to avoid unnecessary face-to-face contact, per the statement.
“It would be no different than a surveillance camera in a public place for a high-crime area,” Mahlen told CBS. The City of Golden Valley said in their statement that the beach is a public space and that “people in public spaces have no expectation of privacy from being recorded by security devices.”
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) July 15, 2020
“It’s ridiculous when I turn around and there’s a gentleman who has boobs that are as big as, or bigger than mine,” Kristian Calbert said to Kare 11. “And he can keep his shirt off and we’re doing the same thing, sitting in the sun. I’m like you say it’s a sexual organ but it’s not. We’re not sexualizing it.”
The July 10 incident comes as members of the Minneapolis Park Board voted Wednesday to repeal a rule stating that it is illegal for women or transgendered persons from going topless in city parks.
“It does make you feel uncomfortable to just think like, oh, how often am I being watched? And what kind of authority is going on here?” Paula Chesley told CBS. “I think it’s really silly that people of all genders with all sorts of breasts can’t show them.”
The City of Golden Valley said that it does not retain drone footage longer than seven days and deletes the video as soon as possible, according to a statement provided to the Daily Caller.
“The City acknowledges the feelings of all involved in the July 10 situation and those who viewed the video footage,” the statement said. “GVPD officers strive to provide fair and unbiased services and take pride in maintaining positive relationships with members of the community. Their priority is to ensure that citizens’ complaints are answered and that parks are safe so all people feel welcomed.