Data-Driven Policing

Organizing against and exposing LAPD’s use of data to criminalize communities

Data has long been central to police surveillance, spying, and infiltration. The state has always used data to contain, control, and criminalize our communities.

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition was formed in 2011 as a campaign against Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR), a national security policing that allows local police to create secret intelligence files based on observations of people’s benign behavior such as taking photographs in public or inquiring about hours of operations. These files are sent to fusion centers where they can be used to track people’s activities and speculatively criminalize communities. SAR helped institute a model of speculative, hunch-based policing based on behavioral surveillance and data-mining that today forms the backbone of data-driven policing. Over the years, our organizing to expose SAR’s harm has helped restrict and dwindle the program, and we are committed to abolishing it altogether. Read more about our work against SAR, including our 2013 report The People’s Audit.

Predictive Policing: Rooted in anthropology and the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Predictive Policing is part of new generation of policing that claims that “the mathematics underlying the insurgent activity and the criminal activity is very much the same.” PredPol harvests calls for police service and crime reports to make statistically driven predictions.

List of posts about Data-Driven Policing

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition is building community power toward abolition of the police state.