New Initiative Encourages Philly Cops to Harrass Those Predicted as “Likely To Offend”
September 28th, 2012
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A new program in Philadelphia plans to keep the city safer by locking up those most likely to shoot someone.
You read that right – not by arresting those who have committed a crime with a gun – but by predicting who is the most likely to offend.
The program, called GunStat, targets two small, low-income areas of the city.
According to the Inquirer Daily NewsÂ the police and assistant DAs identify the most likely violent offenders and then wage a campaign of harassment aimed at finding a way to imprison the targets.
“If we can get these people in [custody] by whatever legal means to stop the violence, that’s what we’re trying to do,” District Attorney Seth Williams said…
Police keep close watch on the offenders and stop them for even the most minor offense, such as spitting on the sidewalk, so they can pat them down.
If an arrest is made, officials said, the assigned ADA is notified by the police and requests a higher bail. In some cases, they argue to revoke bail based on the person’s record.
The program institutes higher bails (bail for an offense that used to be $10,000 is now $200,000), hard time for mere gun possession charges. Â ”You can have a guy who just has a basic [violation of the Uniform Firearms Act] gun case, but they know he’s part of this larger issue and can prioritize,” Managing Director Rich Negrin said. “So, a run-of-the-mill, standard gun case that might get probation is not going to get probation. They’re going to argue for a high bail on that guy.”
The GunStat program is not unique to Philedelphia – similar programs exists in Baltimore and Washington DC.
District Attorney Williams defended the program to The Philedelphia Tribune.Â âWe work with the captains of a particular district to identify who certain offenders are …â Williams said. âWe have these individuals under surveillance, observe them and build a case from that.â
Only eight years ago, the movie Minority Report was released. Â The movie portrayed a futuristic world in whichÂ a special police force called the PreCrime Unit was able to arrest murderers before they committed the actual crime. Director Steven Spielberg stated “that the arrest of criminals before they have a chance to commit their crimes in the movie had some real world background in post 9/11 America, commenting that “[w]eâre giving up some of our freedom so that the government can protect us” and thatÂ Â ”he would be against a PreCrime system if it were ever possible, as he believes that if it did exist, those in control of it would undoubtedly abuse its powers.”
Predictive programming, anyone?
Â ~Hat tip to Joe ~
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Contributed by Kimberly Paxton of www.TheDailySheeple.com.
Kimberly Paxton, a staff writer for the Daily Sheeple, is based out of upstate New York.
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