Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

In a significant move, the city of Chicago has announced that it will no longer use the controversial gunshot detection technology known as ShotSpotter. The system, which uses AI algorithms and a network of microphones to identify gunshots, has faced criticism for its inaccuracy, racial bias, and misuse by law enforcement. The city’s contract with SoundThinking, the company behind ShotSpotter, expires this week, and Chicago plans to wind down its use of the technology by September. The decision comes after an investigation revealed how ShotSpotter data was used as evidence in a murder case that was later dismissed due to insufficient evidence. Chicago’s mayor campaigned on ending the use of ShotSpotter and has stated that the city will focus on other strategies and tactics to reduce violent crime. Community safety groups have applauded the decision, but argue that the technology should be discontinued immediately. Other cities, including Charlotte and San Antonio, have also ended their contracts with ShotSpotter due to issues with accuracy and deployment in marginalized neighborhoods. Despite the controversy surrounding the technology, some police leaders have defended its use, arguing that technology is crucial for crime-fighting. Chicago’s decision marks a significant shift in the use of gunshot detection technology and raises questions about the future of such systems in law enforcement.