Letter to Los Angeles Police Commission:
Dear Los Angeles Police Commission,

We are writing in response to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore’s references to the academic support for the LAPD’s Predictive Policing earlier this year and the upcoming announcement of its Precision Policing program.

As university faculty members and graduate students from UCLA and around the country, we are writing to clarify the extent of this support for Predictive Policing and other algorithm based policing programs. We feel compelled to respond to Chief Moore’s comments and the ongoing commitment to Predpol and algorithm based policing.

Jeffrey Brantingham, an archaeological anthropologist and colleague to many of us, has conducted research on crime modeling and predictive policing. He also co-founded Predpol, which was formed in collaboration with LAPD Deputy Chief Sean Malinowski and has, in the past, been contracted by the LAPD to administer its predictive policing program. Professor Brantingham and his co-researchers have drawn on the discipline of anthropology to support their claims about the efficacy of predictive policing.

As an earlier letter sent by scholars in February expressed, to the extent that Professor Brantingham and his UCLA colleagues represent an academic stamp of approval of predictive policing and other algorithm- and location-based methods for Chief Moore, we wish to make it very clear: there is not universal agreement or acceptance of the empirical merit and the ethics of this research in anthropology or in other disciplines.

On the contrary, many anthropologists and other scholars who read his and others’ scholarship on algorithm- and location-based policing believe it represents some troubling legacies of anthropology and the social sciences. Among our concerns, which we can share in more detail, are (1) whether the research meets the ethical obligation outlined in the anthropological code of ethics to ensure our research does not harm the people affected by it, and (2) how its use of historical crime data naturalizes policies and practices that have had disparate impacts on Black and Brown communities.

Academics' concerns about algorithm and location based policing and Predpol in particular are not limited to anthropology. Scholars in law, such as Columbia Professor Bernard Harcourt, math and data science, such as the Harvard-trained mathematician Cathy O'Neill and other disciplines have also expressed their serious reservations about the empirical and ethical rigor of this research.

We appreciate that the LAPD is paying attention to academic literature, and we encourage them to also review the scholarship that raises questions about Predpol, highlights the dangers of all algorithm and location based policing, and asks why crime algorithms, and not accountability, continue to be the priority of departments like the LAPD.

Signed,
Melina Abdullah, Cal State LA faculty
Laura Abrams, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs faculty
Leisy Abrego, UCLA faculty
Sabrina Alimahomed-Wilson, California State University Long Beach faculty
Mike Ananny, University of Southern California faculty
Hannah Appel, UCLA faculty
Cesar Ayala, UCLA faculty
Dorothea Beane, Stetson College of Law faculty
Joseph Berra, UCLA Law School faculty
Maylei Blackwell, UCLA faculty
Eve Brown, University of California Santa Cruz faculty
Jessica Cattelino, UCLA faculty
Matthew Charity, Western New England University faculty
David Chavez, California State University Los Angeles faculty
John Cheney-Lippold, University of Michigan faculty
Andy Clarno, University of Illinois at Chicago faculty
Sasha Costanza-Chock, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty
Roderic N. Crooks, University of California, Irvine faculty
Dana Cuff, UCLA faculty
Andrew Culp, Calarts faculty
Lisa Davis, CUNY School of Law faculty
Julia DeCook, Loyola University Chicago faculty
Dawn A. Dennis, Cal State University, Los Angeles faculty
Catherine D'Ignazio, Emerson College faculty
Juan De Lara, University of Southern California faculty
Frank Deale, CUNY Law School faculty
Christina Dunbar-Hester, Universtiy of Southern California faculty
Kathleen Dunn, Pasadena City College faculty
Marianne Drummond, Long Beach USD faculty
Ken Ehrlich, UC Riverside faculty
Hamid R. Ekbia, Indiana University, Bloomington faculty
Jessica Feldman, American University of Paris faculty
Laura Forlano, Illinois Institute of Technology faculty
Pablo Gonzalez, UC Berkeƒley faculty
Sonya Goshe, Ohio Dominican University faculty
Guadalupe Granero, University of Buenos Aires faculty
Peter Hanink, Cal Poly Pomona faculty
Mary Hatcher-Skeers, Scripps College faculty
John Hagedorn, University of Illinois-Chicago faculty
Kathy Ho, Stanford University faculty
Grace Kyungwon Hong, UCLA faculty
Babe Howell, CUNY School of Law faculty
Stephanie Hutin, Pitzer College faculty
Gaye Theresa Johnson, UCLA faculty
Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet, APU, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences faculty
Tony S. Jugé, Pasadena City College faculty
Robin D. G. Kelley, UCLA faculty
Tamara Kneese, University of San Francisco faculty
Geoff Kuenning, Harvey Mudd College faculty
Rahim Kurwa, University of Illinois - Chicago faculty
Travis Linnemann, Kansas State University faculty
Michael Litwack, University of Alberta faculty
Albert Lowe, Antioch University faculty
Theresa Lynn, Harvey Mudd College faculty
Lilith Mahmud, UC Irvine faculty
Tayyab Mahmud, Seattle University faculty
Jeffrey Martin, University of Illinois faculty
Shannon Mattern, The New School faculty
Kyle T. Mays, UCLA Social Sciences faculty
Jasmine McNealy, University of Florida faculty
Pankaj Mehta, Boston University faculty
Erica R. Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University faculty
Naomi Murakawa, Princeton University faculty
Safiya U Noble, UCLA faculty
Daniel Olmos, CSU Northridge faculty
Sherry Ortner, UCLA faculty
Harmony O''Rourke, Pitzer College faculty
Steven Osuna, California State University, Long Beach faculty
Leslie Paik, City College of New York faculty
Michael Palm, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty
Joe Parker, Pitzer College faculty
Kavita Philip, University of California, Irvine faculty
Susan A Phillips, Pitzer College faculty
Victor Pickard, University of Pennsylvania faculty
Miriam Posner, UCLA faculty
Laura Pulido, University of Oregon faculty
Megan Raschig, CSU Sacramento faculty
Johnavalos Rios, UC Riverside faculty
Amy E. Ritterbusch, UCLA faculty
Sarah T. Roberts, UCLA faculty
Cesar Rodriguez, SFSU faculty
Ananya Roy, UCLA faculty
Margaret Satterthwaite, NYU School of Law faculty
R Joshua Scannell, New School faculty
Xanda Schofield, Harvey Mudd College faculty
David K. Seitz, Harvey Mudd College faculty
Eric Sheppard, UCLA faculty
Kristina Shull, Harvard University faculty
Esther Sullivan, University of Colorado Denver faculty
Molly Talcott, Cal State LA faculty
Timothy D. Taylor, UCLA faculty
Alison Trope, USC faculty
Karen Umemoto, UCLA College of Social Sciences
Liliana Urrutia, ELAC / UCLA Graduate School Alumna faculty
Madison Van Oort, Saint Paul College faculty
Alejandro Villalpando, California State University, Los Angeles faculty
Alicia Virani, UCLA faculty
Cristina Visperas, USC faculty
Devra A Weber, UC Riverside faculty
Robert Werth, Rice University faculty
Carlin Wing, Scripps University faculy
Kerry Woodward, California State University, Long Beach faculty
Morgan Woolsey, UCLA faculty
Qimin Yang, Harvey Mudd College faculty
Emily Yen, Trinity College faculty
Jeremy Abbott, UCLA
Amanda Acevedo, School of Social Ecology
Robyn B. Adams, Michigan State University
Maryanne Alderson, University of California, Irvine
Sanna Ali, Stanford University
Anushka R Aqil, Johns Hopkins University
Cecilia Avelar, Santa Clara university
Melissa Avina-Beltran, UCLA
Emma Ben Ayoun, University of Southern California
Megan Baker, UCLA
xiili bassett, Princeton University
Marina Bell, University of California, Irvine
tonatiuh beltran, University of California Berkeley
Ari Berrong-Huber, UCLA
Isabeau J Belisle Dempsey, Seattle University
Iris Blake, UCR
LaBreonna Bland, University of California, Irvine
Joy Buolamwini, MIT
Nemesio Cabral, UC Berkeley
Melissa D. Cabrera, UCLA
Michael Cerda-Jara, University of California, Berkeley
Elijah Chhum, UC Berkeley
Alyssa Cisneros, University of California, Irvine
Kevin A. Clinton Jr. Peoples College of Law
Kyle Conniff, UC Irvine
Gabriel Cortina, UCLA
Kelley Cotter, Michigan State University
Britney Craig, Cal State University, Dominguez Hills
Sasha Crawford-Holland, University of Chicago
Laura Czerniecki, UCLA
Yaneli Delgado, CSULB
Aislinn Doering, UCR
Adit Dhanushkodi, Art Center College of Design
Rebecca DiBennardo, UCLA
Addison Dickens, UCLA
Sophie Duncan, University of British Columbia
Courtney Echols, University of California, Irvine
Kareem Estefan, Brown University
Raymond Fang, University of California, Irvine
Juan Flores, University of California, Berkeley
Jaredd Franco
Spike Friedman, UCLA
Sal Wanying Fu, UC Berkeley
Sara G, Cal State LA
Jael Gallegos, UC Santa Barbara
Nataly Escobedo Garcia, University of California, Irvine
Vivianna Goh, UCI
Aja Grande, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ben Green, Harvard University
Lucy Hadley Georgetown University
Alex Hack, USC
Elizabeth Handschy, University of Iowa
Madeleine Hamlin, Syracuse University
Alexia Hatun, UCLA
Meg Healy, UCLA
Jazmin Hernandez, UC Berkeley
Jose Hernandez , California State University of Northridge
Raul Herrera, UCSD
Eliot Hetterly, CUNY Hunter College
Alana de Hinojosa, UCLA
Leah Horgan, UC Irvine
Navi Huskey, UCI
James Huynh, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Harry Hvdson, USC
Hye Young Choi, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Lauren Ilano, UCLA
Ellie Immerman, MIT
Sireen Irsheid, University of Chicago
Jelisa, University of Houston
Brendon Jerome Butler, University of California, Irvine
Sucharita Kanjilal, UCLA
Aleksandra Karapetrova, University of California, Riverside
Hunter Kennedy, University of Chicago
Abby Kerfoot, UCLA
Danielle Kerrigan, McGill University
Elias A. Lawliet, University of California, Berkeley
Ryan Lawrence, UCSB
Crystal Lee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yiran Liu, Stanford University
Sylvie Lydon, USC
Abigail Mack, UCLA
Katherine Maldonado, University of California Riverside
Luis Malik, Harvard University
Momin Malik, Harvard University
Steven Mann, UCLA
Sierra Marcelius, UCLA
Aaron Markowitz, California Institute of Technology
Tal Marom, UC San Diego
Mario Martinez, UCLA
Kristen Maziarka, University of California, Irvine
Deyanira Nevarez Martinez, University of California Irvine
Joshua Mayer, UCLA
Daniela Medina, UC Berkeley
Emily Merel, UCLA School of Law
Kimberly Miranda, UCLA
Mayra Moreno, Cal State Dominguez Hills
Brian Moreno, California state university, Los Angeles
Lena Nguyen, University of California, Los Angeles
Akua Nkansah-Amankra, University of Southern California
Isabel Neal, University of Michigan
Charlotte Neary-Bremer, UCLA
Deyanira Nevarez Martinez, University of California Irvine
Lydia Nicholson, UCLA
Ani Oganesyan, UCLA
Stephanie Keeney Parks, UCLA
Emma Pask, University of Chicago
Peishi, Caltech
Jonathan Penn, Harvard University
Celina Peña, University of New Mexico
Arlinda Perez, UC Berkeley
Jazmin Perez, Chaffey College
Nina Perez-Morales, University of California, Berkeley
Grayson Peters, UCLA
Peter Polack, UCLA
Emanuel Preciado, UC Irvine
Peyton Provenzano, UC Berkeley Law
Alejandro Pulido, SFSU
Ricardo Ramirez, ELAC/UCLA
Salvador Rangel, UCSB
Clare Roberts, Grinnell College
Karla Rodriguez, UCLA
Apollo Rosas, UC Berkeley
Jasmine Rosales, Ucla
Matthew William Richard, UCLA
Amanda Riggle, University of California, Riverside
Eduardo Ruano, Santa Clara University
Sophia S, Santa Clara University
Christopher A. Sadler, Eastern Michigan University
Monica Reyes Santiago, UCLA
Nickolas Segura, Whittier College
Boaz Sender, Harvard University
Aaron Shapiro, New York University
Summer Sloane-Britt, NYU
Khirad Siddiqui, University of California, Irvine
Jake Sim, UCB
Janine Sakiko Slaker, Michigan State University
Johnny Smith, UC Berkeley
Sophia Smith, Santa Clara University
Jen Snyder, University of Delaware
Elena Sobrino, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aaron Solorio, University of California, Berkeley
Lauren Textor, UCLA
Natalia Toscano, University of New Mexico
Ginah Tran, UC Berkeley
Luis Trujillo, UC Riverside
Michael Anthony Turcios, USC
Dagan VanDemark, Georgetown University Law Center
Benny VanDerburgh, University of Chicago
Mark Velazco, Mt. San Antonio College
Fernanda Jahn Verri, Luskin School of Public Affairs
jan williams
Jacob Woocher, UCLA School of Law
Kyla Worrell, UCLA
Amy Young, UCLA
Akina Younge, Harvard Kennedy School
Eszter Zimanyi, USC
Taharka Anderson, CSULB
Jacqueline Espinoza, UCLA
Eric Goldfischer, University of Minnesota
Margaret Jack, Cornell University
Mo kumar, CSULB
Jasmine Lin, UCLA
Benedict Olgado, UC Irvine
Sofia Pedroza, UCLA
Thomas Patrick Pringle, Brown University
PJ Jong, UCLA School of Law
Omar, UCI
Mary Lipscomb, UCLA School of Law
Os Keyes, University of Washington
Jazzmyn Ward, UCSB
Jason Livingston, University at Buffalo
Isabel Gonzales, University of California, Irvine
ZAYDA SORRELL, MEDINA UNIVERSITY CALIFORNIA IRVINE
Bradley Cardozo, UCLA
Rosa Greenbaum, University of California, Irvine
Sita Mamidipudi, UCLA
Burcu Buğu, UCLA
Nicola Chávez Courtright, USC
Rachel Wells, UCLA
Akua Agyen, UCLA
Kelsey Kim, UCLA
Miriam Juarez, NYU
Veronica Gonzalez, University of California, Irvine
Kristy Lovich, UC Irvine
Stephen C. Rea, UC Irvine
Sarah Fox, University of California, San Diego
Nora Berguem, Whittier College
Sookie Kwak, UCLA
John S. Seberger, University of California, Irvine
Bryan Dosono, Syracuse University
Anthony Asadullah Samad California State University, Dominguez Hills
Talor, UCI
Cecilia Bachmann, Pasadena City College
Fatima Charara, UC Irvine
Areej Malley, UCLA
Albert Faz, East Los Angeles College
Aditi Halbe, UCLA

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