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:
- Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Suit Challenging Idaho’s Sex Offender Registration Law, Feb. 15, 2021
- California Court of Appeal: Counsel Ineffective for Failure to Investigate Mental Health History, Feb. 15, 2021
- North Carolina Supreme Court: Superior Court Abused Discretion by Flatly Prohibiting Questions on Racial Bias During Voir Dire, Feb. 15, 2021
- Progress Made in Fight Against Prison Gerrymandering But Battle Continues, Feb. 1, 2021
- Mellon Foundation to Provide $5.25 Million in Program to Distribute Books to Prisoners, Feb. 1, 2021
- New Mexico Corrections Pays $1.4 Million to Settle Whistleblower Complaint Alleging Retaliation for Exposing Deficiencies in Corizon Medical Care, Feb. 1, 2021
- Fourth Circuit Announces Payton’s ‘Reason to Believe’ Standard for Entering a Third-Party’s Home Based on Arrest Warrant for Suspect Amounts to Probable Cause Suspect Resides There, Jan. 15, 2021
- First Circuit: Double Jeopardy Protections Bar Government From Seeking Death Penalty at Retrial Where Jury’s Verdict Not Imposing Death at First Trial Ambiguous, and Trial Court Prematurely Declared Mistrial, Jan. 15, 2021
- Ninth Circuit: Reasonable Suspicion Justifying Traffic Stop Doesn’t Provide Probable Cause to Open Door and Lean Inside Vehicle, Jan. 15, 2021
- New York Court of Appeals Reverses Denial of Suppression Motion Where Prosecution Fails to Provide Specific Facts to Show Traffic Stop Was Lawful, Jan. 15, 2021
More from these topics:
- Inadequate and Outdated Training Results in Wild West Policing, Jan. 15, 2021. Excessive Force (Police), Police State-Surveillance, Police/Govt Misconduct.
- Preliminary Studies: Black/Latino Populations Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19, Jan. 1, 2021. Racial Discrimination, Systemic Medical Neglect, COVID-19.
- Texas Police S.W.A.T. Woman Over Anti-Cop Bumper Stickers, Dec. 15, 2020. Protests, False Arrest, Excessive Force (Police), Police State-Surveillance.
- Hip-Hop Police Bust Careers, Not Crime, Dec. 15, 2020. Racial Discrimination, Racial Profiling.
- Startup Surveils Communities of Color for Police Using Twitter, Dec. 15, 2020. Media, Police State-Surveillance, Racial/Ethnic Bias/Profiling.
- Who Pays for Police Surveillance?, Dec. 15, 2020. Cost of Prison Systems, Police State-Surveillance.
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Announces Use of Pole Cameras for Extended Surveillance of Residence Constitutes Search Under State Law, Dec. 15, 2020. Police State-Surveillance, Electronic Surveillance, Unlawful Entry/Conduct.
- How to Spot Surveillance at Protests, Dec. 3, 2020. Protests, Police State-Surveillance.
- North Carolina Case Involving Death of Black Prisoner: “I Can’t Breathe,” Revisited, Dec. 1, 2020. Racial Discrimination, Private Contractors, Wrongful Death.
- EFF Compiles Data on Surveillance Operations on Citizens Across the Nation, Dec. 1, 2020. Databases, Police State-Surveillance.