Rome Mayor Uses Drone to Hunt Down, Fine Jogger During Lockdown

jogger runner exercise
Clique Images via Unsplash

ROME — Rome mayor Virginia Raggi boasted on social media this week that she used a drone to track down and eventually fine a jogger who violated the coronavirus lockdown.

On Easter Monday in Rome, local police carried out more than 14,000 checks and issued 162 sanctions, Ms. Raggi has tweeted, adding that a runner on Rome’s Appian Way tried to evade police but was tracked down with a drone and fined.

Ms. Raggi has adopted a “tough cop” approach to the pandemic, attempting to terrorize citizens into submission through an increased police presence and by regularly publishing the number of random stops carried out and citations issued.

For a while, Rome police would slowly patrol city streets using bullhorns to warn people to stay home or face the consequences. The mayor announced moreover that she has hired an additional 300 police officers who will go on active duty to patrol the nation’s capital on April 17.

Raggi has also urged citizens to report on each other’s failure to comply with regulations and set up a special website where people can file their reports anonymously. Many Romans complained about the measure, insisting it was a “witch hunt” reminiscent of Italy’s dark days of fascism.

Initially, Romans accepted the lockdown with good-natured resignation, inventing flash mobs from balconies and playing music out of their windows. Now, as the national quarantine has been extended to May, the weight of confinement, combined with severe economic concerns, have brought the people of Rome to their knees.

Many have noted that Ms. Raggi, who was notoriously incapable of organizing trash collection in Rome and of keeping the city subway system working, has finally shown that she is good at something: harassing her own citizens.


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