Civil Rights and Tech Advocates Sound Alarm on Racial Bias in "Predictive Policing"

From the newswire:

5WWASHINGTON – Today a broad coalition of civil rights, privacy, and technology organizations issued a sweeping rebuke to the use and misuse of predictive policing products by police departments as the technology and policy firm Upturn released a report on the topic.
The 17 organizations signed a shared statement of civil rights concerns about the systemic flaws, inherent bias, and lack of transparency endemic to predictive policing products and their vendors. The groups point out how these products exacerbate deep dysfunction and disproportionate policing practices that are “systemically biased against communities of color and allow unconscionable abuses of police power.”
Signers of the statement include The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 18 Million Rising, American Civil Liberties Union, Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Democracy & Technology, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Data & Society Research Institute, Demand Progress, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, Media Mobilizing Project, NAACP, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative), Open Technology Institute at New America, and Public Knowledge.
A new report entitled “Stuck in a Pattern” from the technology and policy firm Upturn — released with today’s statement — finds “a trend of rapid, poorly informed adoption” of predictive policing, with “pervasive, fundamental gaps in what’s publicly known” about how these systems work.
Predictive policing products are marketed with names like “Beware,” “Hunchlab,” and “PredPol.” Police nationwide have begun using them to predict who might commit crimes, or where crimes might be committed, and to target policing to those people and places. However, as the groups state, “The data driving predictive enforcement activities … is profoundly limited and biased. … As a result, current systems reinforce bias and sanitize injustice.”
Among six key concerns in the statement, the groups condemn departments for not disclosing or seeking public input on the use of these products, and the vendors for “shrouding their products in secrecy, and even seeking gag clauses or asking departments to pledge to spend officer time resisting relevant public records requests.”
The statement also notes promising uses of data in policing, pointing out that, “Even within a broken criminal justice system, there are places where data can be a force for good: For example, data can identify people with mental illness for treatment rather than punishment, or provide early warning of harmful patterns of officer behavior. However, today, most ‘predictive policing’ is not used for such constructive interventions.”
“These technologies threaten the Constitution’s promises of equal protection under the law and due process, and its protections against unreasonable searches and seizures,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “This is fortune-teller policing that uses deeply flawed and biased data and relies on vendors that shroud their products in secrecy. Instead of using predictive technology to correct dysfunctional law enforcement, departments are using these tools to supercharge discrimination and exacerbate the worst problems in our criminal justice system.”

To request an interview with an expert on the use of these products or a signer of the statement, email

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.
The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy.  It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

Reprinted by crime technology provider,

Finally. Affordable enterprise search for law enforcement!

Austin, TX,  August 16, 2016 – Crime Tech Solutions, the low price / high performance software vendor for investigation software and crime analytics, today announced the pending release of its Case Closed Search, Match and Respond Toolkit (SMaRT). General availability of the software is scheduled for October 31, 2016.
searchThe revolutionary Case Closed SMaRT™ features an intuitive, user-friendly interface that allows authorized agents, detectives, or investigators to conduct one search for a suspect, target, or location through a single portal and return data from all relevant systems. The enterprise search software is designed to search data despite its format. Text and metadata found in emails, PDF documents, spreadsheets, word documents, and case management systems can all be utilized.
“The great thing about this software is that it was developed specifically for investigative agencies”, said company spokesperson Tyler Wood. “We understand law enforcement data and have created an enterprise search and analytics tool that is purpose-built for police.”
Based upon the flexible open source Apache Lucene engine, SMaRT is a high performance, full-featured information retrieval solution. SMaRT uses Apache Luceneinternally to build state of the art distributed search and analytics capabilities through real time indexing of data in a variety of sources including Records Management Systems (RMS), Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) tools, criminal intelligence applications, and much more.
compiling-and-analyzing-disparate-data“The most important part of the SMaRT portfolio is its price”, added Crime Tech Solutions’ CTO Keith Weigand. “Our competitors charge six or seven figures for products with less flexibility. We’ve specifically priced our software for agencies of all sizes.”
Case Closed SMaRT™ is designed to seamlessly integrate with the company’s popular Case Closed™ investigative case management software, as well as their powerful link analysis and data visualization tools. Additional detail is on the company’s website at
Crime Tech Solutions  is a low price / high performance innovator in crime analytics and law enforcement crime-fighting software. The clear price/performance leader for crime fighting software, the company’s offerings also include sophisticated Case Closed™ investigative case management and major case management, GangBuster™ gang intelligence software, powerful link analysis software, evidence managementmobile applications for law enforcement, comprehensive crime analytics with mapping and predictive policing, and 28 CFR Part 23 compliant criminal intelligence database management systems.

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Predictive Policing – Anticipatory Organizations

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San Francisco Crime Analysis 2014

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via Crime Analytics: Visualization of Crime Incident Reports for Summar 2014 in San Francisco and Seattle — sandipanweb

Wynyard Group continues to disappoint shareholders
The penny stock  – already beaten down after a virtual continuum of disappointing results – has dropped 20% this month.
AUGUST 24 UPDATE – “Wynyard performance ‘dreadful’ according to Milford Asset Management”
And the beat down goes on…