LAPD drops program that sought to predict crime amid bias accusations

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — It was a contentious Los Angeles Police Commission meeting as protesters disrupted a number of speakers.

The issue is a controversial data-driven program that tried to identify persons likely to commit violent crimes. Opponents such as Pete White from the Los Angeles Community Action Network say it targeted minority communities.

“The chief would dare say this was just an experiment, it was just an experiment. The thing that he calls an experiment for us is ways we have to save our lives,” says White.

Since 2011 the LAPD has used several data programs like PredPol or predictive policing. Some of these programs would identify crime hot spots and possibly people involved. But the department found inconsistency in how they were being used.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore says “In the face of its criticism, in the face of concerns relative to whether or not it truly was fair or unbiased for us to continue going forward.”

The chief decided to stop one program which used data to identify persons who are most likely to commit violent crimes.

“We are going to stop using, as I initiated last August, we will no longer use chronic offender bulletins,” Moore said.

At Wednesday’s police commission hearing a number of activist groups objected to the entire program.

Hamid Khan from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition said “Now they are bringing in this language of precision policing so the idea of how data gets collected, how people get traced and tracked and how people get stalked hasn’t stopped.”

Moore said it’s a work in progress. He says the department is looking at other data-driven programs and studying those to see if they should continue.

Read Full Article (via ABC 7)

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