Guess who gave the Baltimore PD money for its new and controversial aerial surveillance equipment? John and Laura Arnold, the same billionaires funding the effort to destroy public sector pensions for police, fire, teachers, etc.
The Baltimore Sun‘s story on this odd donation is below. If anyone has a theory as to why these two people would be funding this kind of project, please let us know.
Here’s an excerpt:
From low-tech eyeglasses to high-tech spyglasses, the wealthy Texas philanthropists bankrolling secret aerial surveillance of Baltimore are no strangers to public policy initiatives in Maryland that match their charitable vision.
In the spring, Laura and John Arnold gave $450,000 from their Houston-based foundation to Johns Hopkins University to support a city initiative to give free glasses to thousands of public school students to study how better vision improves school performance.
As city and university officials gathered in May to kick off that plan, the Baltimore Police Department’s aerial surveillance program was receiving another $240,000 from the couple to ramp up.
The surveillance program— which has sent a single-engine plane flying 8,000 feet above Baltimore to record hundreds of hours of video — began in January with an earlier, $120,000 gift from the Arnolds to Persistent Surveillance Systems, the department’s contractor on an effort that police officials never disclosed to the mayor before starting the monitoring.