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Predictive Policing Is Taking to Twitter to Prevent Hate Crimes

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin criminal statues, Wisconsin defense lawyerPredictive Policing, or PredPol, has been used to prevent and make arrests on everything from burglary to domestic disturbances. However, it has mostly been a numbers game – a statistical analysis that was reliant on already available data, such as crime rate in a given area and convicted criminal offenders who could be possible perpetrators. Already problematic, in and of itself, this program could soon be reaching well beyond just software and databases. In fact, Los Angeles is already planning to use Twitter as a means of preventing hate crime.

Social Media Policing Meets PredPol

Social media has already become a tool for police. It has been used to release messages about alleged criminals in hiding or on the run. It has been used to arrest individuals who have made threats or boasted about their crimes. Now hate speech – or even speech that could be misconstrued as hate speech – could raise the police flag. It will be a marriage of social media and predictive policing.

Essentially, officers know that hate speech does not always lead to hate crime. Likewise, not all hate crimes are publicized before they are committed. None of that really matters, though, because PredPol has never been about preventing all crime; it has always been directed at reducing criminal activity. Unfortunately, PredPol may have also led to some innocent lives being turned upside down. People who have a criminal history are often flagged when their profile “fits” with a crime in their area. Regardless of whether or not they actually committed that crime, they could be pulled in for questioning and may even be treated with an added ounce of scrutiny.

The hate crime prediction, which would analyze information on not just those previously convicted of a crime, but also the general population, could increase PredPol’s defective reach. Innocent people who have never come into contact with the law could face police scrutiny, questioning, and even criminal charges if a crime has, in fact, been committed. Of course, those with previous convictions will continue to be at risk, and are more likely to face unfair treatment, simply because of their past.

Our Milwaukee Criminal Defense Lawyers Protect Your Rights

Whatever happens with PredPol, it is important that citizens know they have an advocate in their corner. Whether facing charges or simply concerned that a violation of your rights could lead to charges, contact Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP for help. We aggressively protect your rights and will always pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your situation. Call 414-271-1440 and schedule a consultation with our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers today.

 

Sources:

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21582042-it-getting-easier-foresee-wrongdoing-and-spot-likely-wrongdoers-dont-even-think-about-it

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-predicting-hate-crimes-20160922-snap-story.html

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