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Police Now Using “Pre-Crime” Algorithm To Target and Label Innocent Citizens as Criminals

Chicago, IL – It was recently reported that the Chicago Police Department has implemented an Orwellian new program that targets innocent citizens based on indicators that they might be a person who has the potential to carry out a crime. Similar to dystopian films like The Minority Report, a complex computer algorithm will track and catalog every citizen in the city, and use private data about each person to determine whether or not they could be a potential criminal.

Once an innocent civilian has been labeled as a threat, they are then notified that they have been marked as a potential criminal and that they are now under police surveillance.

This disturbing program has quietly been in place for over three years, and in that time, government agents have visited the homes of more than 1,300 innocent people who had high numbers on the list, to inform them that they are now regarded as potential criminals. According to the New York Times, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says that officials this year are stepping up those visits, with at least 1,000 more people.

“We are targeting the correct individuals. We just need our judicial partners and our state legislators to hold these people accountable,” Johnson insisted.

However, activists and advocates of civil liberties are not convinced.

Karen Sheley, the director of the Police Practices Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, has pointed out that these innocent people are being flagged based on criteria that have’t even been publicly established.

“We’re concerned about this. There’s a database of citizens built on unknown factors, and there’s no way for people to challenge being on the list. How do you get on the list in the first place? We think it’s dangerous to single out somebody based on secret police information,” Sheley said.

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The current program is said to only target individuals who seem to show a high risk of being involved in a shooting. However, it is also important to point out that most laws, especially the bad ones, aren’t even focused on primary violations of life or property, but are instead focused on secondary actions that are seen as causal factors for these violations.

It certainly should be illegal to harm people or their property, but most modern societies, in an apparent attempt to take preventative measures, have outlawed actions that could be a precursor to actual criminal activity.

Some have referred to this concept as “pre-crime.” The idea is that people should be punished if they behave in a way that someone else is uncomfortable with, even if they have not harmed anyone.

These types of laws would include: all drug laws, all gun laws, seatbelt laws, intellectual property and other victimless, non-violent crimes, where no person has been harmed, and no property has been stolen or damaged.

Drugs are illegal, we are told, because their use could lead to actual crime. Guns are highly restricted because someone could get hurt. Seatbelt laws are imposed because someone could get hurt. And, intellectual property is imposed because someone may lose their investment. The arguments in favor of these laws are all overblown or flat out wrong, but the fear of future crime is always used to justify bad laws that have no basis in justice or restitution.

Our entire justice system is made up of this nonsense, which persecutes people who have not hurt anyone or anything because their actions apparently indicate that they will do something harmful in the future. To begin to target individuals before they have even done anything is taking this idea of pre-crime a step further, ushering in a new age of Orwellian surveillance.

  • David Lee

    Oh great. More excuses for them to target the poor.

    • JennaTrull

      Sure, because only poor people commit crimes. *smirks sarcastically*

  • Jerome Madson

    Somebody should explain the term ‘Orwellian’ to the Chicago PD. This is a slippery slope

  • Anonymous

    “And, intellectual property is imposed because someone may lose their investment.”

    But, without intellectual property rights, person A can invest their life savings in a product, and person B can steal it and make money off it, and deprive person A of any benefit from it. Say, I design a building, and one day, someone else builds another building that is IDENTICAL to mine…If there is a problem with the other building, they can say it was MY drawings that were used…and I get sued for the problem, and maybe lose my practice, even though I gained no benefit from it, and had nothing to do with it.

    • Doran Zeigler

      If someone stole your plans you would NOT be liable. It is like saying that some guy steals my pistol and uses it in a robbery, but the gun misfires in the ensuing gun battle with the police. Do yo think the robber can now sue me because MY gun didn’t work properly?This shouul

      What you described and what I described are attempts at “ill-gotten gains” in the commission of crimes. You or I can not be held liable.

      • PJ London

        It is your fault, because you did not ensure that your pistol was securely stored!
        You will be fined by the government, and you can be sued by the victim of the robber!
        And yes, there is a good chance that the robber will be able to sue you.
        “burglar sues victim” About 504 000 results

        “Homeowners, generally, have no duty to protect trespassers from dangers. So, a burglar cannot sue for tripping on a toy car or being hit by a falling television.

        There are several exceptions to this rule:
        Known trespasser — Homeowners can’t possibly anticipate a random burglar coming into their home. However, if there are signs of a frequent trespasser, the homeowner does have a duty to warn about known dangers on the property.”
        So if you knew that the gun would likely be used in the commission of a crime, you have a duty to warn the robber that it is defective, (or unloaded).
        I couldn’t make this stuff up!

      • Anonymous

        Sure, in a perfect world. But, in a perfect world, a bank robber would not be able to sue the bank he robbed because he slipped and broke his leg during his getaway…and win.

  • Doran Zeigler

    This should come as no surprise to anyone. The ultimate goal is to have every single person in a database that will cyber-analyze people and relegate them to specific categories in accordance with their perceived behavior.

    At first, they will tell us that it is a good crime prevention tactic and all the law and order cop suckers will eat it up. Once it gains a foothold, it will immediately start expanding in scope until it contains everyone’s name and profile.

    A good example is the TSA program of “preventing terrorism” by searching citizens. Obviously, their algorithms, have expanded to include 85 year-old grandmothers, two-year old children, and sassy teenagers who make crude remarks. They went from never catching a terrorist to harassing the general traveling population. The real scandal is that we have accepted this Elitist behavior, ineffective as it is, and have unknowingly laid a solid foundation for the creation of the emerging police state.

  • rose528

    when banks make decisions with your money in your account we are no longer free

  • Boss Freedom

    Maybe we should devise a computer algorithm to detect individuals with a Authoritarian Personality Disorder .

    • MrDamage

      Why? They identify themselves by seeking employment if public office. Policing, political office, regulatory agencies…

  • Maurice Dutton

    There is also a big push on to scan brains of people to determine if they are inclined to break the law. A bit like pre crime and with the algorithm, you will be locked up or tagged because of some bullshit that is Orwellian and Big Brotherish. The system wants all humans to be profiled as exactly the same so they can mass manage us more.

  • Ed

    When the cops and those who give them their orders are under surveillance, we will know that it works.

  • David Managhan

    It’s sheer insanity, but you just know that they would do this at some point. I hope that someone will at least try to get this exercise in stupidity & power-lust quashed somehow.