A bloke from Kentucky apprehended on charges of shooting a drone worth $1,800 claimed that he was merely protecting his property and the privacy of his family. William Meredith said that he had to bring the evil device down with his shotgun when two of his daughters felt uneasy with the drone hovering over their house. When the dronies whose device had been blown away confronted the shooter, he warned them to be careful or else face the consequences.
This belligerent attitude led to William’s incarceration for very first degree criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. According to Louisville’s WDRB, William Meredith insists that he did not break any law and was well within his rights to protect the privacy and integrity of his property and family.
He told the reporters that the drone did not merely fly over his property. In fact, the device started circling over their heads. He added that he was worried about the drone encroaching on his family’s privacy and this was nothing but utter trespassing.
Do you think William Meredith’s act of shooting the drone was justified? Not long ago, I checked out the legal aftermath of shooting a drone once it invaded someone’s private property. This perceived scenario has been translated into reality.
According to drone legal representative Brendan Schulman and robotics law professor, Ryan Calo, an owner of a property cannot simply shoot a drone down once it flies over one’s property. The experts believe that the law encourages people to report any unlawful activity to the law enforcement agencies instead of taking the law in their own hands. This implies that William Meredith might end up getting indicted for engaging in criminal activity and commercial property damage.
Having said that, a law professor named as Michael Froomkin has something that could provide Meredith with the much wanted respite. In a research paper, Froomkin maintains that while it may be sensible to assume that robotic infiltration is not harmless. However, this makes a strong case for individuals to exercise their right to violent self-help.
As far as Meredith’s case is concerned, it will depend on how things actually unfolded. If it is true that the drone was hovering over a young girl while she swam in her private swimming pool, the Violent Self-help theory might come to his rescue. As a matter of fact, it could also support him pursue his case against the drone owners effectively. However, if it is proved in the court of law that William Meredith shot the drone down for no good reason whatsoever, he will end up having to pay $1,800 in damages and a criminal record to boot.