by Douglas Ankney
Today’s RoboCops are not armed predators (yet), but they read license plates, track cellphones, and report “suspicious” persons. According to the Electronic Freedom Frontier, companies like Boston Dynamics and Knightscope market robots to law enforcement. About 100 robots from Knightscope are deployed in America’s shopping malls, grocery stores, neighborhood streets, and other public places. The police department in Huntington Park, California, sent a proposal to the mayor stating each robot has infrared cameras capable of reading license plates, as well as wireless tech “capable of identifying smart phones within its [500-foot] range down to the MAC and IP addresses.” Of course, the data are recorded. In our Orwellian society where some law enforcement personnel unofficially label groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa as “terrorist organizations,” it’s all too apparent that cops might use robots to record protestors’ cellphone data for future identification and harassment.
The RoboCops are presented to the public as benign and “fun.” Many resemble rolling trash cans. They dance and let you take selfies. But all the while they are gathering and recording information – and they are programmed to report suspicious persons to police. Yet alarmingly it’s unclear what information the robots use to “decide” to report as “suspicious activity.” Do the machines monitor skin tone – the darker the skin the higher the suspicion? And we all are aware that police merely responding to a report of suspicious activity often results in the killing or maiming of unarmed, innocent civilians.
So be aware: The next time you are at the mall, that “trash can” may be watching you, recording you, and reporting you.
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More from this issue:
- Faulty Forensics and Wrongful Convictions, by Matthew Clarke
- Seventh Circuit Affirms Vacatur of Death Sentence Based on Newly Discovered Evidence of Defendant’s Intellectual Disability, by Douglas Ankney
- Machinery of Death: When the Government Acts as Judge, Jury and Executioner, by John W. Whitehead
- Seventh Circuit: Indiana’s Sex Offender Registration Act’s ‘Other Jurisdiction Requirement’ Unconstitutional Violation of Right to Travel, by Douglas Ankney
- Ohio Supreme Court: Retroactive Application of Sexually Violent Predator Law Violates Ex Post Facto Clause, by Dale Chappell
- Alabama Supreme Court Announces Testimony About Cell-Site Location Data Is ‘Scientific’ Expert Testimony, Not Lay, Triggering Daubert Analysis, by Anthony Accurso
- Maryland Court of Appeals: MTA’s Fare Sweep Constitutes Suspicionless Seizure in Violation of Fourth Amendment, by Douglas Ankney
- North Carolina Supreme Court: Judge May Not Reject Informed Guilty Plea Because Defendant Refuses to Admit He’s Factually Guilty, by David Reutter
- How the Criminal Justice System Fails People With Mental Illness, by Jordan Smith
- Third Circuit: Brady Claims in Habeas Petitions Timely When Filed Within One Year of Date Reason to Believe Prosecutor Violated Duty To Disclose, by Douglas Ankney
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Departure From SCOTUS’ Vehicle Exception to Warrant Requirement, Commonwealth’s Constitution Provides Greater Protections, by Anthony Accurso
- California Court of Appeal: Lack of Notice of Filing Deadline Due Process Violation, Allowing Late Challenge to Erroneous Parole Designation, by Dale Chappell
- Ninth Circuit Announces Un-Mirandized Statement Used in Criminal Proceeding Violates Fifth Amendment and Supports § 1983 Claim, by Douglas Ankney
- Massachusetts Supreme Court Announces ‘Habitual Offender’ Statute Allows for Sentence of Probation Only, by Dale Chappell
- Hawai’i Supreme Court Announces Clarification of When Self-Induced Intoxication Exception of HRS § 702-230 Applies, by Matthew Clarke
- STAR Program Redirecting Mental Health Emergency Calls Away From Police a Success in Denver, by Kevin Bliss
- Kentucky Supreme Court Announces Appellate Standard of Review for Domestic Abuse Exemption to Violent Offender Parole Eligibility, by Anthony Accurso
- Fifth Circuit: Evidence of Simple Drug Possession Insufficient to Search Cellphone Photos for Evidence of Drug Trafficking, by Anthony Accurso
- California Supreme Court Announces SB 1437 Bars Second-Degree Murder Based on Natural and Probable Consequences Doctrine, by Douglas Ankney
- New Drone Tech Being Deployed by Police, by Anthony Accurso
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Officer Testified as Expert on Child Sexual Abuse Without First Being Qualified and 42 Pa.C.S. § 5920 Overruled Dunkle, by Douglas Ankney
- "Kentucky Supreme Court: Hearing on Defense Counsel’s Fitness Is Critical Stage at Which Defendant Has Right to Be Present With Conflict-Free Counsel", by Douglas Ankney
- D.C. Circuit: Differing Counsel Effectiveness Findings Create Possible Injustice in Wired Plea Offer, by David Reutter
- Second Circuit: Jury Instructions Regarding Defendant’s Motive to Testify Falsely Improper, by Anthony Accurso
- California Court of Appeal Overturns Child Sex Abuse Convictions Based on Prosecution’s Violation of Brady Obligations by Withholding Witness Impeachment Evidence, by Matthew Clarke
- Fourth Circuit: Conditions of Release Banning Internet Access and Legal Pornography Overbroad and Not Reasonably Related, by Douglas Ankney
- Kentucky Supreme Court Reverses Murder Convictions Due to ‘Flagrant Prosecutorial Misconduct’ in Misleading Jury, by Matthew Clarke
- Capitol Police Department Repeatedly Sued Over Racial Discrimination, by Casey Bastian
- Hundreds Serving Life Due to Less Than Unanimous Jury Verdicts, by Edward Lyon
- Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Conviction for Murdering Sixth Wife Due to Improper Prior Bad-Act Evidence Regarding Murder of Second Wife, by Matthew Clarke
- Washington Supreme Court Announces Misconduct of Petitioner’s Own Counsel Can Be Basis for Equitable Tolling in Habeas Proceeding, by Douglas Ankney
- Hidden Sentences, by Jayson Hawkins
- Law Degree for South Carolina Magistrates Optional, by Michael Fortino, Ph.D
- Policing Prostitution in New York, by Jayson Hawkins
- Tech Company Enables Total Surveillance, by Jayson Hawkins
- Image of Men Urinating on Grave Protected by First Amendment, by Michael Fortino, Ph.D
- Shifting View of Criminal Justice in U.S., by Jayson Hawkins
- Philadelphia Man Exonerated After Police Cover-Up Exposed, by Casey Bastian
- New Jersey Man Wrongly Arrested Due to Flawed Face Recognition Match, by Anthony Accurso
- Man Serving 505-Year Sentence Granted Compassionate Release Due to COVID-19
- Police Robo Stalkers in a Location Near You, by Douglas Ankney
- News in Brief
More from Douglas Ankney:
- California Court of Appeal: At Felony-Murder Resentencing Hearing, Court May Not Deny Relief Based on Findings That Are Inconsistent With Previous Acquittal, Jan. 15, 2023
- Fifth Circuit: ‘Nonsubstantial Overcrowding’ of Vehicle Used in Transporting Illegal Aliens Insufficient for Imposition of Sentencing Enhancement Under Guidelines § 2L1.1(b)(6), Jan. 15, 2023
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Where Trial Counsel Believed, Erroneously, He Had Ethical Duty to Tell Prosecution Location of Key Incriminating Evidence Not in Counsel’s Possession, Jan. 15, 2023
- Ninth Circuit Suppresses Evidence as Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Where Officer Lacked Probable Cause to Arrest Man Who Displayed Handgun in Open Carry State, Jan. 15, 2023
- California Court of Appeal Announces the People Are Not Entitled to Have Privately Retained Psychological Expert Testify at Trial of SVPA Petition, Jan. 15, 2023
- Connecticut Supreme Court Announces ‘John Doe’ Warrant Based on Suspect’s General Description and Partial DNA Profiles, Which May or May Not Include Suspect’s DNA, Fails to Satisfy ‘Particularity Requirement’ of Fourth Amendment, Jan. 15, 2023
- Tenth Circuit: Prisoner Convicted of Covered Drug Offense but Sentenced to Mandatory Life Sentence Via Cross Reference for Murder Under Pre-Booker Guidelines Has Standing to Request First Step Act Sentence Reduction, Jan. 15, 2023
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ends Practice of Juvenile Courts Granting Continuances for Sole Purpose of Extending Delinquent’s Period of Detention, Jan. 15, 2023
- People Convicted of Sex Crimes Remain Incarcerated 25 Years After Completing Their Prison Sentences, Jan. 15, 2023
- Ninth Circuit Announces District Courts May Consider First Step Act’s Non-Retroactive Changes to Sentencing Law When Deciding Motion for Compassionate Release, Dec. 15, 2022
More from these topics:
- You’d Better Watch Out: The Surveillance State Is Making a List, and You’re On It, Jan. 15, 2023. Police State-Surveillance.
- Cages Without Bars Are Widening the Net: The Explosion of Electronic Monitoring, Jan. 1, 2023. Electronic Monitoring, Police State-Surveillance, Probation, Parole & Supervised Release.
- Variability in Records Requests Obscures Police Use of Surveillance, Dec. 15, 2022. Disclosure of Records, Police State-Surveillance.
- Drone Company Is Establishing Cozy Relationship With Police, Nov. 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance, Use of Drones.
- Corporate Data Brokers Help Law Enforcement Spy on Millions of Law-Abiding People, Nov. 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance, Cell-Phone Location/Tracking Data, Searchable Metadata.
- That Robotaxi Is Watching You, Nov. 15, 2022. Videotaping, Police State-Surveillance.
- Social Media Surveillance, Nov. 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance, Social Media.
- Next Gen Facial Recognition Identifies Your Associates, Too, Nov. 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance, EP2P Software.
- Prison Profiteer Is Using Sandra Bland’s Death to Sell Surveillance Technology, Sept. 30, 2022. Seizure of Prisoner Funds, Police State-Surveillance, Electronic Surveillance.
- The FBI’s Gestapo Tactics: Hallmarks of an Authoritarian Regime, Sept. 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance.