LA Police collected Social Media information of the Detainees

Los Angeles The Police Department (LAPD) has instructed officers to collect social media account information and email addresses when they interview the people they arrest, according to documents obtained at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law.

The Brennan Center submitted public record requests to the LAPD and police departments from other major cities, which found that among other things “the LAPD has instructed its officers extensively to collect information. on social media accounts from their personal encounters using the interview card (FI). ” The LAPD initially opposed making the documents available but provided more than 6,000 pages after the Brennan Center. sued the department.

One such document, a memo from then on LAPD chief Charlie Beck in May 2015, said that “once a FI report is completed, officers should ask for someone’s social media and e-mail account information and attach it in the ‘More Information’ box. ” That includes Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook profiles, the memo said.

This may be an unusual policy even if the LAPD has done so over the years. “Obviously, there are no bar officers filling out FI cards for every association they participate in on patrol,” he said. WROTE Mary Pat Dwyer, an attorney and associate of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center. “Interestingly, our review of information on FI cards in 40 other municipalities did not reveal any other police departments using the cards to collect social media data, albeit less. the details. ” The center reviewed “publicly available documents to try to determine if other police departments regularly collect social media during field interviews” but found that “most were less concerned about their method, “Dwyer told Ars Friday.

While people may refuse to provide officials with their social media account details, many people may be unaware of their rights and may be forced to provide information, Dwyer told Ars. “The courts have found that stopping individuals and asking for voluntary information does not violate the Fourth Amendment and people are free not to respond,” he told us. “However, depending on the circumstances of the stop, people may not consider the freedom to walk unresponsive. They may not be aware of their rights, or they may expect the encounter to end. by providing information to make sure it doesn’t escalate. “

The Brennan Center is also looking for police department records from January 2020 from Boston, New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, but still fighting to get all the requested information.

Data Makes ‘Large-Scale Monitoring’

A field interview is defined as “the brief restraint of an individual, whether walking or in a vehicle, based on reasonable suspicion, for the purpose of determining the individual’s identity and resolving the officer’s suspicions about criminal activity, ”agrees an International Association of Chiefs of Police policy model for field interviews and pat-down searches. Field communication cards can play an important role in investigations.

“These cards expedite the step of monitoring the same individuals where they were gathered and their friends, family, and associates – even people suspected of not having a crime,” Dwyer wrote. “The information from the cards is fed Palantir, a system in which the LAPD collects data from multiple sources to enhance its surveillance and analytical capabilities. “

Officers apparently have wide discretion to choose which people they record information to and, in some cases, falsify the information entered. Last year, The Los Angeles Times found that a “division investigated by the LAPD for officers accused of forging field interview cards depicting people who were gang members had an outsized role in making the cards.” “The Metropolitan Division of the LAPD comprises about 4 percent of the force but has more than 20 percent of the department’s interview cards issued in a past 18-month period,” the time wrote. Police officers can fill out cards “to document encounters they have with anyone they ask about how they feel,” the report also said.

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