FCC complaint alleges BPD illegally used stingray phone trackers
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- The Baltimore Police Department is the subject of another federal complaint, this one related to its use of a portable technology that mimics cell towers to locate suspects and their cell phones.
On Tuesday, civil rights groups called on the Federal Communications Commission to intervene in the city’s operation of such devices, known as "stingrays."
In Washington on Tuesday, three civil rights groups filed a complaint with the FCC alleging the stingrays disrupt normal cell operations and interfere with emergency calls.
“When phones are connected to a stingray, they can’t complete calls, and that includes 911 calls,” said Laura Moy, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. “We have also pointed out that there is a clear racial bias in the use of this technology,” she said.
Citing the pending complaint, a police spokesman said the department could not provide comment.
Officers have recently been under fire for using the devices without obtaining a search warrant.
In April, one inmate was set free when his attorneys challenged the use of stingrays.
Baltimore City’s Office of the Public Defender is currently identifying hundreds of other cases in which they believe stingrays were illegally deployed.