Todd Feathers reports that ShotSpotter data were altered in ways that supported a police version of events in a shooting. The prosecution has since withdrawn the ShotsSpotter evidence from the case.
“Through this human-involved method, the ShotSpotter output in this case was dramatically transformed from data that did not support criminal charges of any kind to data that now forms the centerpiece of the prosecution’s murder case against Mr. Williams,” the public defender wrote.
From a number of cases reviewed, this case wasn’t a one-off, and ShotSpotter employees may be altering interpretations or data to assist police in some cases. And that is something that requires serious auditing and controls, if true. Even if the technology itself is sound — and I have no information that it is or isn’t — if it’s easily corruptible or altered, then it should not meet standards to be considered evidence in criminal cases.
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