Stop Pasco’s abusive “Predictive Policing” program
The Sheriff’s Office of Pasco County, Florida, harasses people in their own homes using a method they call “predictive policing.” Using a crude computer algorithm, the Sheriff’s Office creates a list of people they think are likely to commit crimes in the future. The program has unfolded like a dystopian nightmare for the Pasco County residents it has ensnared, who have been subjected to near-constant police surveillance and harassment.
Worse, the motivation of the program is more sinister than merely “fighting crime”: The Sheriff’s Office acknowledged that they want these “problem people” gone. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, the architect of the program, boasted that the goal was to predict which residents are likely to commit crimes and then “take them out.” In the words of a former Pasco County deputy, they were under orders to “[m]ake their lives miserable until they move or sue.”
But the Sheriff’s use of predictive policing is unconstitutional. The government cannot harass you in your home just because it has decided that you or someone you live with might someday do something wrong. That’s why Pasco residents have decided to challenge Pasco’s program, alongside the Institute for Justice, in court to affirm the basic principle that there is no such thing as “innocent until predicted guilty.”
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