Researchers used machine learning to identify the ‘crews’ of police officers in Chicago. These identified crews are responsible for the majority of police misconduct and violence in the city. The study highlights the increasing cases of police misconduct and narrows down the total number of operating police ‘crews’ to 160.
Chicago has a bad reputation for having a large chunk of cops who have numerous complaints against them. These cops intentionally form ‘crews’ and exercise the use of excessive police force against people of color.
What does the research say about Chicago PD?
Researchers at Northwestern University and the Invisible Institute published the research in PLOS One scientific journal. The study found out that there were more than 100 police ‘crews’ in Chicago alone. The term ‘crews’ here refers to clusters of officers with charges of police misconduct among other transgressions.
Despite being only 4% of the total police population in Chicago, these groups account for over 25% of the total acts of police misconduct, racial profiling, and police-involved shootings. Moreover, these identified Chicago police groups targeted Black residents and Hispanic residents of the city.
How did the AI identify these crews?
Researchers used a lot of data from sources including complaints, assignments, and settlements against police officers in Chicago. This data became a base for the AI to identify and group the police officers in terms of the frequency of misconduct incidents.
The researchers factored in age, location, race, and other attributes to identify the groups of police officers. So, they were able to narrow down the research to groups of police officers who had maximum charges of police misconduct against them.
Why is it such a big problem in Chicago?
As per the researchers, Chicago police officials have always been lenient in addressing these issues seriously. Whenever an officer is charged with police misconduct, it is branded as an isolated incident which saves the overall image of the department.
It is surprising to see how the departments, trainers, and analysts fail to identify such character flaws in police trainees in the beginning. While the police department may get off easy with a subpar excuse, the cases of police misconduct reduce citizens’ trust in law enforcement.