Predictive policing makes Robert McDaniel criminal target

Occurred: 2014

Assessed by a predictive policing system that he was likely to be involved in a future shooting, despite never having been involved in one before, or caught in any violent event, Chicago resident Robert McDaniel was constantly surveiled by the police, ostracised by his community and was shot twice by people apparently unable to believe his story.

On the basis of McDaniel's proximity to and relationships with known shooters and shooting casualties, the Chicago Police Department-developed system had predicted that he would be involved in a shooting - as a perpetrator, or as a victim, or both.

Accordingly, he was placed on the city's 'heat list' (later renamed 'Strategic Subject List' or 'SSL'), a database of people identified as potential shooters or shooting victims, and monitored by the police and other relevant authorities. This was despite the police having little idea what to do with individuals on the list, according to an influential research study.

Under increasing pressure from civil and digital rights advocates and scrutiny from the media and lawmakers, the City of Chicago terminated its heat list programme in 2019.

Operator: Chicago Police Department
Developer: Chicago Police Department; Illinois Institute of Technology

Country: USA

Sector: Govt - police

Purpose: Predict criminals and victims

Technology: Predictive analytics
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity

Transparency: Governance; Black box; Complaints/appeals

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: August 2023