The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman

Free Consultations & Flexible Payment Plans |

Super Lawyers

Citizens push back against predictive policing tools

We now live in a data-driven world. Businesses collect, analyze and use countless data points to improve efficiency and reach customers. For the most part, reliance on algorithms and data analysis is beneficial – it makes life better for most people.

But using big data doesn’t improve every sector of life. In fact, it can cause very real problems. When utilized irresponsibly in law enforcement, it can be used to oppress the communities police are sworn to serve and protect.

This debate is currently playing out in Los Angeles, where the LAPD has recently (and reluctantly) agreed to end or fix certain data-driven policing strategies. Among the controversial measures:

  • Building profiles and collecting information on individuals considered most likely to commit crimes
  • Scanning license plates and keeping tabs on “chronic offenders”
  • Concentrating police officers in designated “high-crime areas”
  • Utilizing location-based crime prediction software
  • Utilizing a “chronic offender bulletin”

In short, these practices rely on artificial intelligence software to predict where/when crime activity will occur and who might be likely to offend. On face, this may seem like a powerful tool and a smart use of resources. But data analysis is only as good as the data itself. And much of the information fed into the software was collected using methods that target minorities and/or low-income individuals.

Moreover, predictive policing is a problem in its own right because police often tend to find criminal activity wherever they look for it. If rates of drug use are similar among Caucasians and African Americans (and studies show they are), why are African Americans so much more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for drug offenses?

Although the fight is far from over, it seems as though pressure from citizen advocacy groups is helping to curb predictive policing practices by the LAPD. Hopefully, this kind of advocacy will serve as a model for communities elsewhere who may be facing similar tactics.

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need to understand your rights and legal options – especially if you may have been targeted as the result of biased policing practices. Please discuss your charges with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Have An Exceptional Track Record

Possession of burglary tools:Case Dismissed

case results
Email Us For Response

Get Your Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman
712 N Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92832

Toll Free: 866-287-6930
Fax: 714-879-5771
Map & Directions

contact us