Before Palantir, building each profile was a time-consuming job...for an analyst to tie together information from disparate sources... Because Palantir could automatically integrate everything from citizen tips and crime incidents to field interviews and partial license plates, it dramatically accelerated the production of Chronic Offender Bulletins. What used to take an hour could be generated in three to five minutes. The analysts could now profile every single person stopped by police
The issue that galvanized the movement hasn’t subsided. So far in 2017, police have shot and killed 23 unarmed people, a higher rate than in 2016, when 48 unarmed people were killed all year. Both years, about one in three of those people has been black ... But activists say the movement’s efforts have entered a new phase — one more focused on policy than protest — prompted by the election of President Trump.
By some measures, South L.A. has seen marked improvements since the riots, including notably lower crime and, at least in some areas, more economic development. Churches, schools, markets and restaurants sit at many sites that were once scorched or vandalized, a testament to efforts to rebuild. But there is also a scattering of empty lots that dates back to the riots, a stubborn reminder that the repeated vows to “rebuild L.A.” were never fully realized.
without proper rules, deploying police body cameras en masse threatens to create a pervasive surveillance tool and turn what is supposed to be a check on police into a worrisome increase in police power ... in order to avoid missing events that should be recorded, it’s best to offer clean-cut rules rather than looser, discretion-based standards, and to have clear and strict policies that cameras should be on whenever officers are interacting with the public or engaged in a police action.
At least 160 police and fire departments acquired drones in 2016, more than in the past three years combined ... Drones are more popular among law enforcement than any other type of public safety agency. Sixty-three percent of the agencies that attained drones are sheriff or police departments ... The two states with the highest number of agencies that have acquired drones: Texas, with 28 departments, and California, with 23.
more than 125 million Americans—more than half of the country’s adult population—are thought to be stored in a vast network of databases used by local and federal law enforcement to scan photos and videos of individuals. Many of these faces, which can be searched without reasonable suspicion, belong to people who have never been charged with a crime... there are few guidelines or legal rulings that govern exactly how face recognition...should be used by police.
CivicScape claims to not use race or ethnic data to make predictions, although it is aware of other indirect indicators of race that could bias its software. The software also filters out low-level drug crimes, which have been found to be heavily biased against African Americans. While this startup might be the first to publicly reveal the inner machinations of its algorithm and data practices, it’s not an assurance that predictive policing can be made fair and transparent across the board.
For at least three years, two stories about crime and police in Chicago have been unspooling... The primary one has been about escalating gun violence, ... The second story has been about police excess in dealing with suspects and passivity in dealing with civilian reports of crime... Last year, seven hundred and sixty-two people were killed in Chicago—three hundred more than the previous year...the largest one-year increase in any of America’s biggest cities in the past quarter-century.
he Chicago police have systemically violated the civil rights of residents by routinely using excessive force, a practice that particularly affects African-Americans and Latinos ... the Justice Department has put the city’s problems on the record and set in motion a process — albeit one that may be less easy to enforce — for change, even if the Trump administration does not seek a consent decree with Chicago.
Despite ongoing national scrutiny of police tactics, the number of fatal shootings by officers in 2016 remained virtually unchanged from last year when nearly 1,000 people were killed by police ... As was the case in 2015, a disproportionate number of those killed this year were black, and about a quarter involved someone who had a mental illness. In a notable shift from 2015, more of the fatal shootings this year were captured on video.