Chicago Police Refuse To Reveal “Heat List” Pre-Crime Surveillance Tactics – Journalists Sue

By Nicholas West

The Chicago police department continues to march toward what it calls “policing in the 21st century.” If their conduct is any indication, that police work would include systemic corruption, unlawful detention, torture, racial profiling and mass surveillance.

However, activists and journalists continue to work hard to expose even more abuses that might still lurk in the shadows. Some progress has been made. Derrick Broze reported in January of last year about Chicago activist, Freddy Martinez, who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the CPD in 2014. Martinez was seeking details regarding the much-maligned use of Stingray cell phone surveillance. Despite the Chicago PD refusing to answer the request, a Cook County, Illinois judge ordered the Chicago Police Department to allow her to review documents related to cell phone surveillance tools. This case is illustrative of the pressure that needs to be exerted if we are to get answers about what our public servants are truly doing on our behalf.

But Stingray surveillance is merely one component of a much larger surveillance network that Chicago has set up and continues to expand, which even includes an explicit mission to embrace “predictive policing” — essentially, the concept of pre-crime that most people hoped was relegated purely to science fiction.

In late 2013 the public was alerted to an index of approximately 400 people who had been identified by a computer algorithm as being future threats to commit violent crime. Without having actually committed a crime, some of those on the list were being visited by Chicago police warning them that they were already being watched. This index came to be known as the “Heat List.”

When the Chicago Police Department sent one of its commanders to Robert McDaniel’s home last summer, the 22-year-old high school dropout was surprised. Though he lived in a neighborhood well-known for bloodshed on its streets, he hadn’t committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently. And he didn’t have a violent criminal record, nor any gun violations. In August, he incredulously told the Chicago Tribune, “I haven’t done nothing that the next kid growing up hadn’t done.” Yet, there stood the female police commander at his front door with a stern message: if you commit any crimes, there will be major consequences. We’re watching you.


At issue is the fact that no one knows how the algorithm works, nor has there been sufficient oversight to judge its effectiveness or lawfulness. Moreover, that initial list of 400 has apparently grown to 5,000. Three journalists are now suing the Chicago police for information that can explain exactly how people are winding up on this secretive list now called the “Strategic Subject List.”  As reported by Shadow Proof:

Journalists George Joseph, Jamie Kalven, and Brandon Smith submitted freedom of information requests under the Illinois law in 2016. The Chicago Sun-Times submitted their request for records in May, according to the filed complaint [PDF].

Joseph sought records on the risk factors that are used when placing individuals on the list and communications about increasing the number of people on the list.

Records on “the algorithm that determines who makes it on the Strategic Subject List” were sought by Kalven. He also requested records that included manuals or guides on the use of the interface employed to list people.

Smith also requested records that would reveal the secret algorithm underpinning a key component of predictive policing used by Chicago police. He wanted data showing “risk scores of all people added to the list in its first two years of regular or non-test use.” He also wanted to know if the first 5,000 individuals on the lists were charged with new crimes in the two years following their inclusion.

The CPD denied Smith’s request for information on 5,000 individuals and called it “unduly burdensome.” It indicated it would issue an additional response rejecting other parts of the request but Smith never received a further response.

As we can see, it is clear that not only is the culture of secrecy being embraced by the CPD, but there is also an arrogant dismissal of such investigation as “unduly burdensome.” However, these particular journalists have an excellent track record of applying the proper pressure needed to defend the rights of Chicago’s citizens, explaining why full disclosure is essential.

Smith played an instrumental role in forcing the release of CPD video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald. He killed McDonald and the city of Chicago initially tried to conceal the video from the public.

“For decades, it’s been law enforcement’s [mode of operation] to deny everything on the basis that everything they do is investigation and thus privileged. That’s just not the case, according to the freedom of information law in Illinois and in most places,” Smith declared.

Smith continued, “This is what the law was made for is cases like this, where the government is making decisions that could have really adverse effects on people. And we have to know how and why they’re making decisions.”

Kalven was responsible for forcing the release of numerous police misconduct records through a lawsuit that culminated in a decision by an Illinois appeals court in 2014.

“We have learned too many times that a lack of transparency into the Chicago Police Department leads to unconstitutional policing and violations of civil rights,” said Matthew Topic of Loevy & Loevy, the civil rights law firm handling this lawsuit.

“While novel forms of policing like this aren’t necessarily bad, it’s crucial that the public know how these lists are generated and whether they result in discrimination and civil rights violations.”

Every police department should be open to requests from its citizens to explain their conduct, but if ever there was a department that needs to be forced to reveal its procedures, it is the Chicago PD. The outcome of this lawsuit bears watching as the trend toward pre-crime surveillance is spreading quickly to police departments across the country. Hopefully, Chicago’s judiciary follows its previous precedent to compel police to provide this information.

Nicholas West writes for He also writes for Counter Markets agorist newsletter.

This article may be freely republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

Hat Tip: MassPrivateI

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3 Comments on "Chicago Police Refuse To Reveal “Heat List” Pre-Crime Surveillance Tactics – Journalists Sue"

  1. CPD doesn’t care. With Hooman square where they torture people, to the millions paid out to the victims of just ‘one’ cop using electrocution to extract confessions, they have proven they are nothing more than a thug gang themselves. They better hope the people don’t get sick of it and fight back, even with a huge police force they are badly out numbered, and who’s going to be protecting their families while they are at work in riot gear?

  2. coming to a city or town near you all part of “law and order”

  3. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the brain initiative are the worst scams ever perpetrated on the American people. Former U. S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin Warns: Biochips Hazardous to Your Health: Warning, biochips may cause behavioral changes and high suicide rates. State Attorney Generals are to revoke the licenses of doctors and dentists that implant chips in patients. Chip used illegally for GPS, tracking, organized crime, communication and torture. Virginia state police have been implanting citizens without their knowledge and consent for years and they are dying! Check out William and Mary’s site to see the torture enabled by the biochip and the Active Denial System. See Terrorism and Mental Health by Amin Gadit or A Note on Uberveillance by MG & Katina Michael or Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer or Mind Control, Microchip Implants and Cybernetics. Check out the audio spotlight by Holosonics. The truth is the biochip works like a sim card. It received pulsed modulated laser beams and millimeter wave which it converts into electromagnetic waves that your brain interprets into digital images and sound. It then takes what your brain sees and hears and converts electromagnetic waves into digital and acoustic waves that a computer translates into audio and video. In other words, it allows law enforcement to see what you see, hear what you hear and communicate directly with your brain. “Former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) director and now Google Executive, Regina E. Dugan, has unveiled a super small, ingestible microchip that we can all be expected to swallow by 2017. “A means of authentication,” she calls it, also called an electronic tattoo, which
    takes NSA spying to whole new levels. She talks of the ‘mechanical mismatch problem between machines and humans,’ and specifically targets 10 – 20 year olds in her rant about the wonderful qualities of this new technology that can stretch in the human body and still be functional. Hailed as a ‘critical shift for research and medicine,’ these biochips would not only allow full access to insurance companies and government agencies to our pharmaceutical med-taking compliancy (or lack thereof), but also a host of other aspects of our lives which are truly none of their business, and certainly an extension of the removal of our freedoms and rights.” Google News The ARRA authorizes payments to the states in an effort to encourage Medicaid Providers to adopt and use “certified EHR technology” aka biochips. ARRA will match Medicaid $5 for every $1 a state provides. Hospitals are paid $2 million to create “crisis stabilization wards” (Gitmo’s) where state police torture people – even unto death. They stopped my heart 90 times in 6 hours. Virginia Beach EMT’s were called to the scene. Mary E. Schloendorff, v. The Society of New York Hospital 105 N. E. 92, 93 (N. Y. 1914) Justice Cardozo states, “every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent, commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages. (Pratt v Davis, 224 Ill. 300; Mohr v Williams, 95 Minn. 261.) This case precedent requires police to falsely arrest you or kidnap you and call you a mental health patient in order to force the implant on you. You can also be forced to have a biochip if you have an infectious disease – like Eboli or Aids.
    Coalition of Justice vs the City of Hampton, VA settled a case out of court for $500,000 and removal of the biochip. Torture is punishable by $1,000 per day up to $2 million; Medical battery is worth $2.05 million. They told my family it was the brain initiative. I checked with the oversight board, and it is not! Mark Warner told me it was research with the Active Denial System by the College of William and Mary, the USAF, and state and local law enforcement. It is called IBEX and it is excruciating. I have had 3 surgeries at the site of the implant and need another. It causes cancer! I’ve been tortured for 8 years by Virginia law enforcement. Thousands of innocent Virginians are being tortured and murdered by criminal cops. Please help us get the word out to end these heinous atrocities. The pain is 24/7. The VA DCJS sent me a letter stating cops can get keys to anyone’s home and steal anything they please. The governor knows and takes his cut. Senator Kaine said the FBI is not involved so he can’t help. Check out Virginia’s Casual Disregard for the Constitution at forbes dot com. Check out Richard Cain’s case. They are torturing infants and children. The active denial system comes in rifle form and can murder without leaving a mark. I have had two heart attacks and am blessed to be alive. We need to make the nation aware to stop these thugs. Now a Dr. Whaley of the Medical Examiner’s office reports covering up murders by cops and selling brains for $6250 each to the NIH. Beware of Riverside and Sentara Hospital. Beware of Dr. Lawrence Chang, Pariser Dermatology, Dr. Nicole Nelson, Dr. Shaista Ahsai, and Dr. Lika in her red mercedes, and Riverside Emergency Room Physicians, and Dr. Denis Cruff, Dr. Mark Kanter and Hampton Sentara Surgeons and Tidewater Multi-specialty Group and Dr. Elizabeth Cooper. Most of all, beware of state and local police in Virginia. Please help us.

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