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LAPD Blames Predictive Software For Misconduct And Abuse, Rather Than...Holding Officers Accountable

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posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:02 AM
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LAPD Blames Predictive Software For Misconduct And Abuse, Rather Than Its Own Disinterest In Holding Officers Accountable

As long as we're heading into an age of predictive policing, it's good to know that some police departments are willing to turn the ThoughtCrime scanner on their own employees.

police departments across the U.S. are using technology to try to identify problem officers before their misbehavior harms innocent
people, embarrasses their employer, or invites a costly lawsuit — from citizens or the federal government.

Of course, some of this is just "insider threat" detection that ousts whistleblowers before they can blow the whistle and punishes employees for not adhering to the prevailing mindset. Nothing about this software is anywhere close to perfect, but it's still being used to (hopefully) head off police misconduct before it occurs. But what the system flags doesn't seem to be stopping cops before they do something regrettable.
The systems track factors such as how often officers are involved in shootings, get complaints, use sick days and get into car accidents.
When officers hit a specific threshold, they're supposed to be flagged and supervisors notified so appropriate training or counseling can be
assigned.

Seems like a great idea, while on one hand such technology could be used for accountability in an increasing problematic trend sweeping across the country, on the other, it is Orwellian in nature being used on the public vastly more those ever so pestering authority figures. But as the LAPD is quick to point out:


The LAPD's inspector general found in a recent review that the system was seemingly ineffective in identifying officers who ultimately
were fired. The report looked at 748 "alerts" over a four-month period and found the agency took little action in the majority of cases and
only required training for 1.3 percent, or 10 alerts, of them.

The LAPD presents this as a software failure -- and some of it is. What's being flagged isn't necessarily indicative of potential misconduct. But beyond the algorithm, there's this integral part which is being ignored.

Experts say the early warning system can be another powerful tool to help officers do their jobs and improve relations, but it is only as
good as the people and departments using it… "These systems are designed to give you a forewarning of problems and then you have to do
something."

Even the IG's report notices nothing's being done. 748 "alerts" only resulted in action on 10 of them.

The irony of the matter, as most on ATS is well aware of, is noted beautifully by Tim Cushing, the author of the article:

The LAPD is trying to portray this as a software failure, most likely in hopes of ditching the system that was forced on it by its own bad behavior. (The irony here is that police departments will argue that predictive policing software doesn't work on cops but does work on citizens.)

Would you expect anything less though from police department notorious and infamously known for its cruelty?

I suppose if these systems are to be used to predict bad police conduct, some good news might be:

on the other side of the coin lies the LA Sheriff's Department -- at least in terms of predictive software.

The sheriff's department has an early warning system. "Our diagnostic systems were fine," said the department's Chief of Detectives, Bill
McSweeney, who advised his agency on creation of the warning system. "Our managerial and supervision response was not fine. It's that
simple."

The LASD is finally acknowledging that it let its officers (and prison guards) act with impunity for far too many years. The system could have worked -- at least in its limited capabilities -- but no one wanted to follow up on flagged officers. The situation there has deteriorated to the point that the LASD is looking at a few years of federal supervision.

This however does little to ease the Big Brother aspect of the technology.

Predictive policing is still a bad idea, even for policing police. While data may help pinpoint problem areas, the flagging systems are far too inaccurate to guarantee hits. But the problem within law enforcement agencies is the lack of accountability, not faulty software. Unless the first problem is addressed, it won't matter how much the software improves in the future.

Technology Used to ID Troubled Cops

While such "early warning systems" are often treated as a cure-all, experts say, little research exists on their effectiveness or — more importantly — if they're even being properly used.


I wonder what similar reports look like coming out of the NYPD. Further, I wonder when responsibility and accountability becomes the fad, the norm, vice corruption and brutality. What is the answer? I don't think it is in predictive programing, but rather the public continuing, and we ever more use of, cameras trained and spotted on law enforcement; further, every state should make it law that dashcams and uniform cams be mandatory 24/7 recording - without the ability to turn them off.
edit on 9/10/2014 by AllSourceIntel because: formatting




posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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Isn't this what the management in the police system is suppose to do? Now a computer is to do it, based on information someone enters which may or may not be correct. Lazy.

No wonder the machine is breaking.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:24 AM
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a reply to: roadgravel

Correction: Broken. The system is already broken. If thinking a thought would be considered a punishable crime, 99% of us would have been raided and locked up.

Nothing good will come of this. Surprising? No, not in the least. Scary? Yes, very much. Add thinking into the ever expanding list of things 'they' don't want us to be doing.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:32 AM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel


The LAPD is trying to portray this as a software failure, most likely in hopes of ditching the system that was forced on it by its own bad behavior.

Kind of telling. Cops are scared of being found out. They should be.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

To paraphrase the forth doctor (ie doctor who)

"Computers are just sophisticated idiots. They can solve a million equations in a second but yet they still need someone to tell them what to do."

That is the problem. A crime of passion or an abuse of justice cannot be summed up in a string of ones and zeroes, it requires a human touch that a machine cannot replicate at this point in time. The algorithms may be sound but they are nowhere near replicating the human condition, and the inherent flaws within this system can only be exploited by criminals and corrupt cops.

Maybe in the future the kinks will be worked out of the system, but until then we'll be reliant on cops on the beat or vigilant citizens.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

Yeah... Who would ever think that police officers would be held to a higher standard than average joe citizens? Accountability, whats that? Oversight, whats that?

I'm more scared of cops and their malpractice then i am of walking through bad neighborhoods at night.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:41 AM
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It almost seems like many of the police are now just machines. Little thought or reasoning, just shooting.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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Great comments everyone. Each of you has spoken sentiment I felt and thought when I saw the story and wrote the post.


originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
To paraphrase the forth doctor (ie doctor who)

"Computers are just sophisticated idiots. They can solve a million equations in a second but yet they still need someone to tell them what to do."


I think is highly indicative of the situation in computers and humans alike.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 09:08 AM
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Abuse of power should be a capital crime. If a cop violates the public trust, execute him/her. Police should be held to a higher standard than the public.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: damwel
Abuse of power should be a capital crime. If a cop violates the public trust, execute him/her. Police should be held to a higher standard than the public.


No, it shouldn't. Held to a higher standard, yes, executed for violation of public trust and abuse of power, no. Punished appropriately and proportionally for the crime, yes, banned and prohibited from working in law enforcement, corrections, security, and law, yes.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 12:02 PM
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originally posted by: AllSourceIntel
What is the answer? I don't think it is in predictive programing, but rather the public continuing, and we ever more use of, cameras trained and spotted on law enforcement; further, every state should make it law that dashcams and uniform cams be mandatory 24/7 recording - without the ability to turn them off.


Video, evidence, and multiple witnesses are all meaningless when prosecutors refuse to prosecute.

I would suggest an independent prosecutors office with the sole job of prosecuting crimes committed by law enforcement or other government officials. Populate these positions with jailhouse lawyers so they would have an incentive to do their jobs.

Alternatively, enable law firms to prosecute crimes committed by LEOs and other government officials where they can charge the government for reimbursement upon a successful conviction. Instead of ambulance chasers we would have squad car chasers advertising on TV.

"Hurt by an out of control cop? They deserve jail time and you deserve MAXIMUM CASH! Contact the law offices of Dewey, Cheetham, & Howe for a free consultation today. CALL NOW!"



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 12:02 AM
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a reply to: VictorVonDoom

I would have to agree with you, successfully prosecuting these matters combined with reasonable and appropriate sentences would go far in curbing brutality. I also think if conflicted such persons should not be allowed to ever work in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, security, or law as they have demonstrated incompetence and disregard to do so honourably and justly.




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