5/29 - Predictive Policing
This week has been a year since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and I want to get into how has the justice system not changed in the aftermath of Floyd’s killing. One example of how it has not changed is the policy of Predictive policing. Predictive policing is a term that describes any mathematical or analytical algorithms to predict when a crime will take place. It was first used in Los Angeles in 2008 and cities around the country began using this technique. The purpose of predicting policing is to know which neighborhoods should law enforcement deploy the most. Although predictive policing has had an effect in reducing property crimes, it has come with a price as predictive policing perpetuates racial profiling as it uses past historical data. Because of this, predictive policing is not a way to tackle crime and infringes on the fourth amendments’
Should Predictive Policing be abolished?
One reason why predictive policing should be abolished is that it perpetuates the broken justice system. Most of the crimes that are reported are in communities of color. This fact is important to understand because predictive policing will focus all its resources on one specific neighborhood, especially in communities of color that are already overpoliced. This means that anyone who lives in that specific neighborhood could potentially be mistakenly arrested for a crime he/she did not commit. These flaws have been exposed and already there are calls for ending this policy.
Already, Predictive policing has caught the attention of both Capital hill and the federal courts. For example this year, Senator Ron Wyden (D - OR) along with other senators sent a letter to the US Attorney General to see whether predictive policing does not violate the 1964 Civil Rights. Also, judges have also seen the flaws of predictive policing. For example, the US Fourth Circuit ruled that the Richmond, VA police department violated the plaintiffs’ fourth amendment just because he happened to be at the scene of the crime. One of the judges, Judge James Wynn stated that predictive policing “results in the citizens of those communities being accorded fewer constitutional protections than citizens of other communities.” While Congress can technically stop predictive policing, it is very unlikely to see that from happening because of the political gridlock that exists.