Sheriff Who Used “Pre-Crime” Algorithm to Target Potential Criminals Will Face Trial

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Florida: Federal Judge Steven Merryday refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who is accused of harassing “future criminals” identified by a “Minority Report-style” predictive computer program used by Pasco County. The Tampa Bay Times conducted an investigation and found that the sheriff’s deputies showed up at the homes of the identified “potential criminals” unannounced and demanded to enter. If there was no cooperation, the deputies would write tickets for petty offenses such as having tall grass or missing house numbers. A former deputy told the paper that they were ordered to “make their lives miserable until they move or sue.” The lawsuit, filed at the US District Court in Tampa, argues that the computer program and the sheriff’s policy violate the Fourteenth, Fourth, and First Amendments.

A federal judge refused to dismiss a case against a sheriff in Florida over a “Minority Report-style” computer program that predicts criminals. The sheriff’s office is accused of then proceeding to harass the “future criminals” identified by the program.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco sought to dismiss the case. According to the Institute for Justice(IJ), the organization representing the plaintiffs in the case, Judge Steven Merryday’s ruling to dismiss the motion to dismiss is a victory.

We obtained a copy of the order for you here.

“Today’s decision is an important step toward the ultimate dismantling of the program,” explained Ari Bargil, an attorney at the Institute for Justice.

The lawsuit cites a “dystopian ‘predictive policing’ program used in the county, and enforced by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). According to the IJ, for the past decade, the PCSO has used a “crude computer algorithm to identify and target supposed ‘future criminals.’”

The Tampa Bay Times conducted an investigation that found out that the sheriff’s deputies show up at the homes of the identified “potential criminals” unannounced and demand to enter. If there was no cooperation, the deputies would write tickets for petty offenses such as having tall grass or missing house numbers.

Read full article here…

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Boomer Lady
Boomer Lady
1 year ago

What is so remarkable isn’t as much the program as is that it took a decade to bring it to light.