Santa Cruz becomes 1st city in U.S. to ban predictive policing

California
Santa Cruz has banned predictive policing, in which law enforcement used data to try to predict where crimes occur. (Thomas Mendoza / Associated Press)

Santa Cruz has banned predictive policing, in which law enforcement used data to try to predict where crimes occur. (Thomas Mendoza / Associated Press)

Nearly a decade ago, Santa Cruz was among the first cities in the U.S. to adopt predictive policing. This week, the California city became the first in the country to ban the policy.

In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the City Council passed an ordinance that banishes the use of datato predict where crimes may occur and also barred the city from using facial recognition software.

In recent years, both predictive policing and facial recognition technology have been criticized as racially prejudiced, often contributing to increased patrols in Black or brownneighborhoods or false accusations against people of color.

Predictive policing uses algorithms that encourage officers to patrol locations identified as high-crime based on victim reports. The software “replicates and supercharges bias in policing by sending police to places that they’ve policed before — that is often going to be Black and brown communities,” said Matt Cagle, a technology and civil liberties attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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