S3, Episode 1: The Precrime Unit (Jan. 31st, 2019)

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Full transcript of episode here Pre Crime Unit (Full Transcript))

Predictive policing technology is spreading across the country, and Los Angeles is the epicenter. A small group of LA activists are in a lopsided campaign against billions of dollars in city, federal, and Silicon Valley money using algorithms to predict where and when the next crime is going to occur, and even who the perpetrators are going to be. Barry embeds with the Stop LAPD Spying coalition for a week in Skid Row and investigates how state-of-the-art predictive policing programs work. He then talks to sociologists and philosophers about how big data is changing the relationship between police and the communities they serve. We then turn to the justice of using statistical predictions for the purposes of profiling and police intervention. This is part 1 of 2 on the use of statistical algorithms in criminal justice. Guest voices include the LAPD police commissioners, Hamid Khan, Jamie Garcia, Sarah Brayne, Flora Salim, and Renee Bolinger.


On this bonus episode, I go into some of the history between the LAPD police commission and the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, and feature some of the tape from the Central station CSOC protest that didn’t make it into the episode, including some creepy stuff that happened toward the end of the protest. I then talk to Sarah Brayne about the possibility of using surveillance technology to monitor the police themselves.


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Reading List and Links

Sarah Brayne’s “Big Data Surveillance: The Case of Policing

Renee Bolinger

Frederick Schauer’s Profiles, Probabilities, and Stereotypes (Amazon link).

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition

LAPD Police Commissioners