What Amazon Taught the Cops by Ingrid Burrington

Deterritorial Investigations

Predictive policing is just another form of supply-chain efficiency.

(Illustration by Tim Robinson)

“The future of policing, it seems, will look a lot like the present of policing, just faster and with more math. Instead of using inherent bias and simplistic statistics to racially profile individuals on a street, cops of the future will be able to use complicated statistics to racially profile people in their homes. In the summer of 2013, for instance, the Chicago Police Department implemented a pilot program intended to reduce violent crime. It used an algorithm developed by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology to generate a “heat list” of roughly 400 people who were most likely to become perpetrators or victims of violence. Cops tracked down some of these individuals, showed up at their homes, and warned them they were being watched. Similar programs using technology have been tested in recent years…

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