Lawsuit claims San Francisco police illegally tapped surveillance cameras to spy on protesters

California

A lawsuit filed by civil rights organizations and activists says San Francisco police illegally tapped hundreds of surveillance cameras to spy on police-brutality protesters this spring.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the suit filed Wednesday says police tapped into real-time footage from cameras in the Union Square area from May 31 to June 7, when thousands protested the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

The suit also says police violated a city ban on using surveillance technology without prior approval except in emergencies.

Police Chief Bill Scott has said the department sought to tap the cameras because of violence surrounding the protests but ultimately didn’t use them.

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