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Minnesota police used drones to check if beachgoers were nude

2020-07-22

A secluded lake near Minneapolis apparently has a well-known nudity problem, and the Golden Valley Police Department enlisted high-tech surveillance to try and combat it earlier this month. After too many complaints that people were at the beach in their birthday suits, officers used a drone to catch nudists in the act.

The beach at Twin Lake, described as serene and somewhat hidden, has allegedly been a trouble spot for a long time, with reports of alcohol and drug use in addition to the lack of clothes. Repeated complaints and unheeded warnings, police said, led to the drone surveillance of the beach on Friday, July 10.

“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 told WCCO in Minneapolis.

Despite some uncomfortable citizens arguing that the drone usage was an invasion of privacy, Mahlen defended the operation as legal because it was in a public place.

“What it did was validate all of these complaints we’ve been getting from residents,” Mahlen said. “It would be no different than a surveillance camera in a public place for a high-crime area.”

However, though police claim that they observed nude bodies with the drone, they did not take any information from those they planned to cite due to a passionate and angry response from the people they confronted.

“We made the choice that things were only escalating and we chose to leave,” Mahlen said.