If You’re Going To Spy On Us At Least Use The Data

Police have been in overdrive expanding their pervasive surveillance apparatus. They want camera, cell phone interceptor, and license plate scanner coverage throughout the country. Just to enjoy the privilege of driving we’re required to submit our personal information, including home address, to the Department of Motor Vehicles so it can print it on a piece of plastic that we have to hand a police when they pull us over so they can check if there are any outstanding warrants. I don’t approve of this widespread surveillance but I do ask that they at least use the data they collect to ensure they storm the correct house when they’re on one of their domestic dog hunting excursions:

Returning home from her Monday evening walk, Tama Colson rounded the corner into her subdivision and saw DeKalb County police cars.

Then she heard the gunshots — and her neighbors’ anguish.

“I hear Leah screaming, I see Chris walking out, ‘They just shot me, they just shot me, and they killed my dog’,” Colson said Tuesday. “So I got him to lay down, took my shirt off and rendered first aid. And Chris just kept saying, ‘Why did they shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?’”

Those are the key questions in the fourth controversial police shooting in DeKalb County in less than two years — an incident in which, according to authorities, officers responding to a burglary call went to the wrong home, shot the unarmed homeowner, killed his dog and wounded one of their own.

Admittedly shooting two innocents and one violent criminal is a better ratio that the police usually walk away with in these situations. But shooting the homeowner and the dog was criminal and charges should be filed. I would say shooting the cop was, if nothing else, bad form but the police are supposed to help homeowners defend against invaders so the shooting officer was technically doing his job.

More importantly this entire mess shouldn’t have happened. There is no excuse for having both a pervasive surveillance apparatus and raiding the wrong address. When officers are sent on a domestic dog hunting excursion the address should be displayed on a very obvious map (one using small words and basic colors so the city’s finest can understand it). Upon arriving at the address a picture of the home should be sent back to headquarters and checked against photographs already in the database. Then the officers should check their cell phone interceptor to ensure the phone they have associated with the target is at the address.

Obviously I say this halfheartedly. I don’t believe the police should be spying on us. I’m merely illustrating just of how incompetent wrong address raids are when considering all of the data law enforcement agents have available to double check they have the right place.