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Monitoring devices and apps could reinforce racist views

In Minnesota and throughout the country, people use apps and social media channels to keep tabs on what is going on in their communities. However, these apps may not be the best way to stay informed about local events or issues. In some cases, the alerts that they issue are nothing more than nuisances or blatant attempts to scare people. Individuals may receive reports about people knocking on doors or putting glue on mailboxes.

With so many of these types of reports being issued, Americans have a sense that crime is increasing. The truth is that the violent crime rate is at its lowest level in 25 years. These apps may also give rise to racist or prejudiced viewpoints as many who are accused of being suspicious or committing crimes are minorities. In some cases, false or misleading reports of suspicious activity can lead to a person being taken into custody or shot by a police officer.

While individuals may feel safer with monitoring devices such as those offered by Ring, they may not actually be safer. Research has shown that a home that has a Ring or similar monitoring device may be more likely to be invaded. As police departments create law enforcement plans based on data generated by online reports and other digital tools, their use could further put minorities at a disadvantage.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to help preserve the rights of someone charged with a crime. In the United States, defendants are innocent until proven guilty. This means that being charged with a crime is no indication that the accused engaged in illegal behavior. Legal counsel could take steps to show that an individual did not commit an illegal act.

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