The Obama DOJ had a plan to hold police accountable for abuses. Trump's DOJ just undermined it

Photo via White House.

The Obama Justice Department Had a Plan to Hold Police Accountable for Abuses. The Trump DOJ Has Undermined It.

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It was caught on tape. A Seattle police officer lunged into the backseat of a patrol car. The Black woman detained inside had been combative, but she already had her hands cuffed behind her back. Still the cop punched her in the face, breaking an orbital bone.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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