Senator Reverend Warnock Questions Federal Funding for Unproven Predictive Policing Technology, Commits to Equal Protection Under Law For All

As the nation reacts to the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, Senator Warnock joined Senate lawmakers to demand transparency from the Department of Justice regarding its funding of predictive policing algorithms deployed by law enforcement across the country
In new letter, Senator Warnock and his colleagues point to reports that predictive policing algorithms amplify existing biases regarding where crimes occur and who is likely to commit them by using biased data when training these algorithms
ICYMI—Senator Warnock on Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict: “We know that there cannot be healing without justice” – WATCH FULL REACTION HERE

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) recently joined a group of his Senate colleagues to push the Justice Department to account for how it funds and oversees so-called predictive policing programs—especially whether the programs actually reduce crime, and the potential for the programs to amplify biased results that harm marginalized groups. Predictive policing systems use algorithms to recommend where to deploy law-enforcement resources, or to identify individuals who are allegedly high-risk to commit crimes, based on historical data. However, multiple audits of these systems have found no evidence they are effective at preventing crime. Additionally, experts have warned that using policing algorithms based on flawed law-enforcement data can reinforce discriminatory practices that harm marginalized groups, without improving public safety. 

“When datasets filled with inaccuracies influenced by historical and systemic biases are used without corrections, these algorithms end up perpetuating such biases and facilitate discriminator policing against marginalized groups, especially Black Americans,” Senator Warnock and his colleagues wrote. We ask DOJ to help ensure that any predictive policing algorithms in use are fully documented, subjected to ongoing, independent audits by experts, and made to provide a system of due process for those impacted. If DOJ cannot ensure this, DOJ should halt any funding it is providing to develop and deploy these unproven tools. 

Read the full letter HERE.