New York City Will Remove Thousands of Suspects From DNA Database After Allegations of Racism
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is getting ready to purge its DNA database, eliminating data from thousands of potential criminals, because of concerns over racism brought up by leftist civil liberties advocates.
New York City has amassed roughly 82,000 profiles over the course of several years, and the data has helped them solve countless crimes, with DNA evidence being integral in finding the murderer of Tessa Majors recently. But civil liberties advocates believe that this is invasive and a violation of privacy rights.
Police commissioner Dermot F. Shea has announced that the NYPD is in the process of overhauling its rules and regulations regarding the controversial database, which is currently maintained by New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner.
They will start by going through 32,000 samples collected by people considered suspects in active criminal investigations. If they determine that samples are over two years old and not linked to an ongoing investigation or conviction, they will be purged and potentially lost forever.
Bob Barrows, who works as the director of legal operations for the NYPD, said that he expects to remove thousands of DNA profiles from the database. This will hamstring law enforcement even further as New York City reverts back to the crime-ridden cesspool it was widely considered to be in the 1970s.
“We don’t want to saturate the database with profiles that aren’t yielding any results,” Barrows said. “If these people are not convicted, if they are not a suspect in a law enforcement investigation or ongoing prosecution, those are profiles we want to look at.”
The Local DNA Index System, as it is called, is expected to become far less comprehensive in the days to come, as they also will change the way juvenile DNA is collected and stored. DNA will only be collected from juveniles after sex crimes, hate crimes, firearm crimes, or other felonies after receiving consent of the minor with additional parental notification.
The reforms are not stopping civil liberties groups from continuing their agitation. They continue to move forward toward their end goal of eliminating the database entirely.
“Our lawmakers should step in with real control and oversight of the N.Y.P.D. and act to ban unlawful and unregulated DNA collection,” said Terri Rosenblatt, Supervising Attorney of the DNA Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “All New Yorkers should reject anything less.”
“We need basic transparency in the database,” said Donovan Richards, who is the chairman of the City Council committee tasked with oversight of the police. “This is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.”
“This idea is half-baked,” Richards said of the reforms. “It still affects black and brown people disproportionately, people who have not been convicted of anything.”
Commissioner Shea is standing by his proposed reforms as being what is best for the community at large.
“As a Department, we have reformed policies and practices to support a system that is fair and effective while also cultivating trust with the community,” Commissioner Shea said in a statement.
“These changes are common sense and incorporate feedback we have gathered without compromising the ability for officers to successfully identify criminals, build strong cases and bring justice for victims,” he added.
The Commissioner may learn the hard way that when the leftists are given an inch, they will ultimately take a mile. New York City is once again a safe haven for criminals, and capitulations from police bureaucrats will only make the growing problem that much worse.