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.
As a digital subscriber to Criminal Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login
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: Defendant’s ‘Novel Interpretation’ of Pen. Code § 1203.01 Entitles Him to Have Trial Court Consider Motion to Correct Post-Judgment Record 40 Years After Conviction Final, Sept. 15, 2022
- New Jersey Supreme Court Orders New Trial Because Detective Failed to Clarify Suspect’s Ambiguous Request for Counsel During Interrogation, Sept. 15, 2022
- Ohio Supreme Court: Amendment to Statute That Shifts Burden of Proof to State Regarding Self-Defense Applies to All Pending and New Trials After Effective Date, Regardless of When Alleged Crime Occurred, Sept. 15, 2022
- New Mexico Supreme Court Announces Judicial Misconduct May Bar Retrial Under Double Jeopardy Clause of State Constitution, Sept. 15, 2022
- New Jersey Supreme Court Announces Framework for Determining Constitutionality of Warrantless Protective Sweep of Home Where Arrest Is Made Outside the Home, Aug. 15, 2022
- First Circuit: Procedurally Unreasonable for District Court to Base Upward Variance on Defendant’s Prior Arrests, Aug. 15, 2022
- Minnesota Supreme Court Announces Expanding Scope of Traffic Stop to Investigate Occupant’s Pretrial Release Conditions Violates Minnesota Constitution, Aug. 15, 2022
- Sixth Circuit Reverses Denial of First Step Act Relief Because Sentence Imposed Is Substantively Unreasonable, Aug. 15, 2022
- Use of Death Penalty Continues to Decline in the U.S., Aug. 15, 2022
- Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence Because Government Failed to Meet Its Burden to Support Uncharged Drug Quantity Under Rule 32, Aug. 9, 2022
More from these topics:
- 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.
- Tech Giants Support Ban on Geofence and Reverse Keyword Warrants, Sept. 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance, Electronic Surveillance.
- The Catalog of Carceral Surveillance: Voice Recognition and Surveillance, Sept. 1, 2022. Police State-Surveillance.
- All Ohio Prison Guards to Wear Body Cams, Sept. 1, 2022. Guard Brutality/Beatings, Police State-Surveillance, Civil Rights Violations.
- FBI Gets New Mass Surveillance Tool, Aug. 15, 2022. FBI, Police State-Surveillance.
- The Catalog of Carceral Surveillance: Prison Gaming and AR/VR Services, Aug. 1, 2022. Seizure of Prisoner Funds, Prisoner Media, Police State-Surveillance, Global Tel*Link Corp.
- Everybody’s Guilty: To the Police State, We’re All Criminals Until We Prove Otherwise, July 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance.
- The War in Ukraine Raises Awareness About Secure Communications During a Crisis, July 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance.
- Prosecutor’s Sentencing Message to Defendant: Insist on Trial, Pay with Your Liberty, July 15, 2022. Police State-Surveillance, Penalty for Going to Trial.