RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday agreed to reconsider its decision to uphold a judge’s ruling allowing Baltimore police to carry out an aerial surveillance pilot program.

A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, sided with the police department last month. But a majority of the full court voted to hear the case again.

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The six-month surveillance test ended Oct. 31. But the technology’s effectiveness as a crime-fighting tool continued to be evaluated.

Police last spring began to test whether images captured by wide-angle cameras attached to airplanes could help them investigate murders, nonfatal shootings, armed robberies and carjackings.

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The American Civil Liberties Union sued the department in April on behalf of area activists to try to prevent the planes from taking off, but a federal judge ruled that the technology does not violate people’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

The camera-equipped aircraft flew above Baltimore during the day.

Software then stitched together photos taken every second to create a continuous visual record of movement across the city. That record was meant to support the street-level cameras, license plate readers and gunfire sound detectors across the city.

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CBS Baltimore Staff