Imagine that you’re sitting at home eating breakfast, admiring your neighbor’s new car parked just a couple of hundred feet from your kitchen window.
Suddenly, your door is kicked in and your windows shattered as armed and armored police barge in, hold you at gunpoint and haul you off to jail for the crime of contemplating grand theft auto. Not committing it, just contemplating it.
It’s not if the Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies have their way. Police across the country have been working on developing a computer system that will predict crimes before they happen.
Los Angeles already uses a program that crunches crime statistics and determines where extra patrol cars should be assigned. But word on the street, according to the Daily Caller, is that Chicago PD is the closest to a “Minority Report”-style system.
The Chicago program not only compiles statistics, but it churns out lists of people it considers likely to commit crimes. CPD Commander Jonathan Lewin said the program one day will be national.
“This will inform police departments around the country and around the world on how best to utilize predictive policing to solve problems. This is about saving lives,” Lewin said.
It always is, when someone wants to build a higher fence.
Not only will the computer track crime “hot spots,” but it will build a database of the 400 most dangerous people in town and track their relations with other criminals, as well as identifying potential victims.
The real question is how such a database will be used. It has obvious potential for use as a tool against political “enemies” of anyone who has the keys to the computer lab, not to mention personal vendettas and full-scale pogroms.
Law enforcement can still turn a blind eye to laws it doesn’t care to enforce, such as federal drug laws.
Such is the case with Colorado, now that it’s legalized marijuana, a drug that remains banned at the federal level. Because pot growers and sellers are free to ply their trade in Colorado, now the state has become a hub for distributing the drug illegally across the country, according to a report on CBS.
Competition among pot dealers in Colorado has apparently led to better quality marijuana, which people are now mailing to friends, family and customers.
Despite all the fancy predictive computer systems, law enforcement apparently didn’t see that one coming. Perhaps it was too obvious, or perhaps enforcement of laws will remain selective no matter what equipment the cops have access to.
Given the political proclivities of some major cities, and of the federal government, how long will it be before those “pre-crime” computers find there’s something dangerous about political conservatives or other enemies of the state that requires a full-scale roundup?
For your own safety, of course.