Door Bells and Funeral Bells
by Douglas Ankney
Ring is Amazon’s “smart” doorbell camera company that allows video cameras within users’ doorbells to surveil their porches, sidewalks, yards, and even the streets next to their homes. But Ring has also partnered with some law enforcement agencies, enabling police to directly email requests to Ring’s customers for video footage.
In the first quarter of 2020, police requested customers’ videos over 5,000 times, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports. While it is not known how many of those requests were granted, it is known that as of June 22, 2020, Ring had partnerships with 1,403 law enforcement agencies (up from about 200 agencies in April 2019). Of those 1,403 agencies, 559 (40%) of them have been responsible for at least one death at the hands of police since 2015. And of the 6,084 reported deaths, agencies in partnerships with Ring accounted for 2,165 (35%) of those deaths.
Ring has turned many police forces into its sales force. Ring has drafted press statements and social media posts for police to promote Ring cameras and to terrify people into thinking their homes are in persistent danger. Yet there is no scientific data to show Ring prevents or reduces crime or makes neighborhoods safer.
Data do show, however, that users of Ring are more likely to report Black people on the community app “Neighbors” as being suspicious. This puts the person at risk of being harassed or even killed by police (one man was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies the same night he was captured by Ring footage on a woman’s porch, which she then shared on the Neighbors app).
In this era where it’s proven that police engage in racial profiling and abuse of minorities, should Ring assist them with their surveillance that targets Blacks and other minority populations?
More from this issue:
- Police Unions: Obstacles to Criminal Justice Reform and Police Accountability, by Douglas Ankney
- Fourth Circuit Announces Discretionary Conditions of Supervision Must Be Orally Pronounced at Sentencing, by Anthony Accurso
- Deal Presented by Kentucky Prosecutor Evidence of Effort to Smear Breonna Taylor, by Casey Bastian
- Attacking the Guilty Plea: Waivers, Breaches, and Getting More Time After a Successful Challenge, by Dale Chappell
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Reckless Prosecutorial Misconduct Constitutes Overreaching Sufficient to Trigger Double Jeopardy Protections, by Douglas Ankney
- The 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment Showing Authoritarian Abuse Still Relevant Today, by Michael Fortino, Ph.D
- Powerful New Tool Reveals Federal Sentencing Problems, by Dale Chappell
- Campaign Zero Advocates for Police Accountability, by Jayson Hawkins
- Sixth Circuit Finds IAC for Failure to Raise ‘Clearly Foreshadowed’ Change in Law on Appeal, by Dale Chappell
- Ninth Circuit: Use of Unconvicted Conduct Too Dissimilar to Charged Offense Violates Due Process, by Dale Chappell
- Fifth Circuit Grants Habeas Relief Because Detective’s Testimony of Witness Identification of Defendant Violates Confrontation Clause, by Dale Chappell
- Indiana Supreme Court Announces New Analytical Framework for Review of Substantive Double Jeopardy, Overruling Richardson, by Douglas Ankney
- Idaho Supreme Court Announces False Rape Allegations May Be Admitted Regardless of When Made, by Anthony Accurso
- Federal Judge Criticizes Qualified Immunity and Challenges SCOTUS to Abolish It, by Anthony Accurso
- Fifth Circuit Reverses Conviction Based on Prejudicial Prosecutorial Misconduct, by Douglas Ankney
- Arizona Supreme Court Declares Gang-Association Statute Unconstitutional, by Dale Chappell
- Mississippi Supreme Court Vacates Capital Murder Conviction Obtained With Bite Mark Comparison Evidence, by Matthew Clarke
- Eighth Circuit: Counsel Ineffective for Not Recognizing § 851 Enhancement Should Not Have Applied, by Anthony Accurso
- First Circuit: Dangerousness of Machine Guns Not Justification for Above-Guidelines Sentence, by Dale Chappell
- Eleventh Circuit: Time Served Adjustment Is Mandatory Under Sentencing Guidelines Even After Booker, by Matthew Clarke
- Kansas Supreme Court Announces Residual Clause of Law Prohibiting Knife Possession by Felons Unconstitutionally Vague, by Anthony Accurso
- Maryland Court of Appeals: Odor of Marijuana Alone Doesn’t Provide Probable Cause to Arrest and Search Person, by Anthony Accurso
- Ninth Circuit: Mere Passage of Time Doesn’t Attenuate Evidence From Initial Constitutional Violation, by Douglas Ankney
- California Court of Appeal: ‘Violent Victim Rule’ Doesn’t Require Defendant to Have Had Knowledge of Victim’s Propensity for Violence, by Douglas Ankney
- N.J. Supreme Court Announces Defendant Has Right to Question Cooperating Witness About Plea Deal and Possible Sentence Exposure Even When Witness Faced Same Exposure as Defendant, by Douglas Ankney
- Missouri Supreme Court: Circuit Court Erred in Excluding Expert Witness Testimony Regarding Accuracy of Eyewitness Identification, by Douglas Ankney
- Seventh Circuit: Solo Masturbation Near Fully Clothed and Sleeping Child Does Not Constitute Production of Child Pornography, by Anthony Accurso
- California Supreme Court Reverses Murder Conviction and Death Sentence Because Police Failed To Honor Defendant’s Request for Counsel, by Douglas Ankney
- Fourth Circuit Expands First Step Act’s ‘Covered Offense’ to All of Section 841, by Dale Chappell
- Wisconsin Supreme Court: Officers Wrongly Inventoried Vehicle for Towing, Requiring Suppression of Evidence, by Anthony Accurso
- Sixth Circuit: Michigan Courts’ Procedure Allowing Appellate Counsel’s Withdrawal Unconstitutional, by David Reutter
- Sixth Circuit Clarifies ‘Different Location’ in Robbery Guidelines Enhancement Commentary Requires More Than Herding Victims To Different Room, by Anthony Accurso
- Fed Position on Pot Pushing Vets to Black Market, by Jayson Hawkins
- Minnesota Supreme Court: Coercion Statute Unconstitutionally Overbroad, by Anthony Accurso
- Less Lethal Munitions Still Deadly, by Edward Lyon
- Is the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Ready to Investigate Arbery Cover-Up?, by Jayson Hawkins
- Blue Lives Matter More: Georgia Introduces Hate Crime Bill Designed to Protect the Cops, by Michael Fortino, Ph.D
- Promises to Defund the Police Lead to Increase in Private Security Forces on City Streets, by Casey Bastian
- The Danger of Police Dishonesty, by Jayson Hawkins
- Interrogation Via Zoom: Policing in the Age of COVID, by Jayson Hawkins
- DOJ Report: Massachusetts Narcotics Bureau Relied on Excessive Use of Force, by Kevin Bliss
- Door Bells and Funeral Bells, by Douglas Ankney
- Did Two Judges Violate Ethics in Florida Voting Rights Restoration Case?, by Casey Bastian
- Kettles Are Used for Teas, Kettling is Used for People, by Edward Lyon
- Government Treats Protesting Cities as Enemies of the State, by Kevin Bliss
- News in Brief
More from Douglas Ankney:
- Family of San Quentin Prisoner Who Died of COVID-19 Due to “Horribly Botched Transfer” Files Lawsuit, May 1, 2021
- Report: Border Patrol Misappropriated Funds and Failed to Provide Proper Medical Care to Accurately Report Migrant Deaths, May 1, 2021
- Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence Where District Court Improperly Imposed Leadership Enhancement, April 15, 2021
- Seventh Circuit Exercises Supervisory Powers in Reversing District Court’s Judgment Revoking Supervised Release, April 15, 2021
- Iowa Supreme Court Announces Brady Standard Applies to Motion for New Trial Based on Withheld Exculpatory Medical Records, April 15, 2021
- Michigan State Police Reverse on Use of Messaging App That Can Evade FOIA Requests, April 15, 2021
- Wyoming Supreme Court: District Court Abused Discretion by Granting State’s Dismissal of Charges Without Prejudice and Refiling to Gain Tactical Advantage, Remands for Dismissal With Prejudice, April 15, 2021
- New Jersey Appellate Court Holds Defendant Entitled to Source Code of Novel Probabilistic Genotyping Software Upon Showing of Particularized Need, April 15, 2021
- California Court of Appeal: Prisoners Are Not Required to Serve ‘Thompson Terms’ After Grant of Parole Under Elderly Parole Program, April 15, 2021
- New York Court of Appeals Rejects Federal Jurisprudence Allowing Searches of Vehicles Based on Warrants Authorizing Searches of ‘Premises’, April 15, 2021
More from these topics:
- D.C. Circuit Highlights Racial Disparity Concerns With First Step Act After District Court Erroneously Denies Relief, April 15, 2021. Racial Discrimination, First Step Act.
- Tech Company Enables Surveillance, April 15, 2021. Police State-Surveillance, Searches - Cellphones/Computers/Internet.
- Orwellian Fusion Centers Are Watching You, April 15, 2021. Police State-Surveillance.
- Surveillance and the City, April 15, 2021. Police State-Surveillance, Electronic Surveillance.
- Confidential Settlement in Case Involving Alleged Pattern of Racist Misconduct in Michigan Prisons, April 1, 2021. Racial Discrimination, Employee Litigation.
- Capitol Police Department Repeatedly Sued Over Racial Discrimination, March 15, 2021. Racial Discrimination.
- Tech Company Enables Total Surveillance, March 15, 2021. Police State-Surveillance, Cell-Phone Location/Tracking Data.
- New Jersey Man Wrongly Arrested Due to Flawed Face Recognition Match, March 15, 2021. Police State-Surveillance.
- Police Robo Stalkers in a Location Near You, March 15, 2021. Police State-Surveillance.
- Federal Court Orders Body Cams Be Worn by Guards in Effort to Stop Abuse of Disabled at California Prison, March 1, 2021. Guard Misconduct, Disabled Prisoners, Police State-Surveillance.