Police stops in Los Angeles are highly concentrated within just a small portion of the population, and the Los Angeles Police Department has been using targeted predictive policing technology that may exacerbate that focused scrutiny. That’s according to a report put out this week by the research and activist organization Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which draws from the testimony of city residents and newly released police documents to paint a picture of a “racist feedback loop” where a “disproportionate amount of police resources are allocated to historically hyper-policed communities.”
Survey results included in the report suggest that very few people in Los Angeles bear the brunt of most police interactions: 2 percent of residents who responded to the survey reported being stopped by police between 11 and 30 times a week or more, while 76 percent of respondents reported never being stopped at all. The 300 survey respondents were distributed across geography, race, age, and gender. In focus groups, people who lived in areas heavily targeted by police described a state of constant surveillance. Asking “how often do I see police in my area is like asking me how many times do I see a bird in the day,” said one resident.
What’s more, the LAPD has been using technology from the data-mining firm Palantir that may amplify that concentration, as part of a predictive policing program that targets and surveils specific individuals within select neighborhoods based off their recent history with the criminal justice system.