1984: D.C. police gather personal info at 'safety stops'


iconPolice in Washington D.C. have been setting up checkpoints to conduct 'safety stops'. During the stops, police collect personal information about the driver and some passengers. The information is stored in a government database and used as a tool to fight crime, reports the Washington Post.

The city's practice of recording information at traffic safety checkpoints on violators and law-abiding motorists alike -- and sometimes their passengers -- has garnered little attention since police began entering such data into a computer in 2002. Few, if any, of the more than 100 people pulled over almost nightly at the five or six checkpoints in high-crime areas realize that their names and whereabouts will end up in the database...

D.C. homicide Detective Paul Regan said the collection of such data has been "a great intelligence tool."

So far this has flown below the radar. But civil libertarians, like the ACLU, have been asked for comment. Since this likely disproportionally affects blacks, look for more outrage in the future.



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