Inside the NYPD’s Out-of-Control DNA Collection Practices

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The NYPD has been aggressively collecting DNA by going door-to-door, bribing people with cigarettes and even random passers-by, and is compiling an Orwellian crime-fighting DNA database which had over 64,000 samples as of 2017.  The profiles are kept in the crime lab’s database and are routinely compared to other profiles for all city crimes including every rape, murder and any other violent crime.  The NY Daily News reported, “DNA has unparalleled power to wrongly accuse. Genetic testing can now reveal a profile based on a few cells, and we shed hundreds of thousands of cells a day. Your DNA can show up in places you’ve never been.”  For example, the DNA of Lukis Anderson was discovered under the fingernails of a murdered billionaire – which was transferred to the dead man by paramedics who had treated both men separately. Anderson was facing the death penalty before his 2013 exoneration. 

The NYPD is going to great lengths to collect, and permanently store DNA from everyone they can – guilty or innocent, according to the NY Daily News

Whether it be going door to door, bribing people with cigarettes, or simply demanding cheek swabs from random passers by, the NYPD has been aggressively compiling an Orwellian crime-fighting DNA database which had over 64,000 profiles as of 2017. 

Take as an extreme example the police investigation of the Howard Beach jogger case. Before they identified a suspect, the NYPD collected well over 500 DNA profiles from men in the East New York area. Imagine police knocking on doors, in uniform, with a cheek swab in hand, asking residents to prove they didn’t kill the jogger in the nearby park.

They were willing to do it in East New York. Do you think this would happen on Park Ave.? In Park Slope? Not likely.

But things get worse from there. For those people excluded from the jogger case, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the city’s crime lab, permanently keeps those profiles in their databank and routinely compares profiles to all city crimes. –NY Daily News

The Chief Medical Examiner’s office, meanwhile, has justified the supercharged data collection on ambiguous city and state laws – instead preferring to invent their own rules governing how they use someone’s DNA. 

In short – anyone who has given their DNA to the NYPD will be routinely compared to DNA samples from every rape, murder and any other violent crime run through the system. 

But wait, you might say – why worry if you’ve done nothing wrong? 

Because, as the Daily News notes, “DNA has unparalleled power to wrongly accuse. Genetic testing can now reveal a profile based on a few cells, and we shed hundreds of thousands of cells a day. Your DNA can show up in places you’ve never been.

For example, the DNA of Lukis Anderson was discovered under the fingernails of a murdered billionaire – which was transferred to the dead man by paramedics that night who had treated both men. Anderson was facing the death penalty before his 2013 exoneration. 

Read full article here…

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