Civil Rights & Constitutional Law


FOX News

Just one week after the sheriff's department in Cecil County, Md., got its brand new drone up and running, it was asked to investigate a case of stolen construction equipment. So the Cecil County Sheriff sent his Typhoon H Pro to investigate. The sheriff's department in Somerset County, N.J., hopes its drones could help it find missing people. "Years ago, when we had people wander off, we would bring out the rescue department, the fire department, fire department volunteers, K-9 if we had it and we'd search and search and search and never find the person," said Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provensano.

AI Predicts Human Rights Trial Outcomes With 79% Accuracy - RealClearLife


Artificial intelligence can now predict human rights cases with 79% accuracy, part of an increasing trend of the computer-driven tech being applied in novel ways. The accuracy is impressive, but many are concerned it could lead to eliminating human judgment from the rule of law. By scanning court documents, the algorithm was able to anticipate the judicial decisions made in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) trials with relative precision. The results were part of a study by an international group published in PeerJ Computer Science, an academic journal. Led by Nikolaos Aletras, a Research Associate at the University of London's Computer Science Department, the team of researchers argued that the machine-generated analysis provides a look at the most important parts of the judicial system, such as the schism of law interpretation among ECHR judges.

Cops Have a Database of 117M Faces. You're Probably in It


But a new, comprehensive report on the status of facial recognition as a tool in law enforcement shows the sheer scope and reach of the FBI's database of faces and those of state-level law enforcement agencies: Roughly half of American adults are included in those collections. The 150-page report, released on Tuesday by the Center for Privacy & Technology at the Georgetown University law school, found that law enforcement databases now include the facial recognition information of 117 million Americans, about one in two U.S. adults. Meanwhile, since law enforcement facial recognition systems often include mug shots and arrest rates among African Americans are higher than the general population, algorithms may be disproportionately able to find a match for black suspects. In reaction to the report, a coalition of more than 40 civil rights and civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights launched an initiative on Tuesday asking the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to evaluate current use of facial recognition technology around the country.

Secret aerial surveillance by Baltimore police stirs outrage

Los Angeles Times

Authorities were searching Wednesday for two people suspected of kidnapping the three young children of a woman found dead last week on the side of a road near Gorman. Authorities were searching Wednesday for two people suspected of kidnapping the three young children of a woman found dead last week on the side of a road near Gorman. T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, confirmed Wednesday that the company had conducted 100 hours of surveillance in January and February and 200 hours of surveillance between June and this month. While there are U.S. Supreme Court decisions backing police use of certain aerial surveillance techniques, the nation's highest court has also restricted the ability of law enforcement to indiscriminately track individuals -- an ability essentially given to Baltimore police through the surveillance footage now being collected.

Essential California: Scandals, racial tensions claim San Francisco's police chief

Los Angeles Times

San Francisco's police chief stepped down under pressure amid growing controversies over allegations of corruption and racially biased behavior on the part of the department. The incidents test the line between free speech and hate speech, and the city says there is little they can do. Dry days ahead: The latest forecast suggests California has many dry months ahead and that the drought is far from over. Union vs. Beck: The Los Angeles Police Protective League filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Police Chief Charlie Beck alleging that he manipulated the LAPD's process of disciplining officers and seeking major changes in the way the department conducts its Board of Rights hearings for serious misconduct cases.