“The big boss and his overseers build walls, borders, and sieges to try to contain these people who they claim are bad examples. But they never achieve their goal because dignity, courage, rage, and rebellion can’t be held back or incarcerated. Even if they hide behind their walls, borders, sieges, armies, police forces, laws, and executive orders, sooner or later that rebellion will come asking for its due.”
— Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee, General Command of the Zapatista Army (August 2019)

This report has reviewed the relationship of LAPD’s data-driven policing programs to displacement, gentrification, and real estate development along with police reform, counterinsurgency, imperialism, and settler colonialism. Our demands regarding the violence of these programs are the same ones we’ve long advanced: [329]

  1. Ban LAPD’s use of data-driven policing tactics.
  2. Purge data collected through LAPD’s “broken windows,” “predictive,” and data-driven policing tactics and programs. 
  3. Defund, divest, and disarm LAPD of all weapons of surveillance.
  4. Provide full disclosure on the use of data-driven policing tactics to all individuals, organizations, and locations targeted.
  5. Provide full reparations to individuals and neighborhoods harmed by surveillance and data-driven policing programs.
  6. Fund public hearings on the human impact of data-driven policing, hosted by a community-based body with no relation to LAPD.
  7. End all LAPD siphoning of funds and data from other city departments.
  8. Abolish the Community Safety Partnerships surveillance program.
  9. Abolish LAPD’s fraudulent “oversight” body, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners.

The abolitionist response to the policing of land has nothing to do with reforming these practices by “cleaning up” the data or creating new laws and policies for “safer” use. As abolitionists, we recognize the harms of policing are not just due to biases or discretion but due to the intent and purpose of policing, which has always been committed to protecting property, stealing land, enforcing exploitation, and caging, deporting, and murdering the people who the state wishes to banish.

Abolitionist analysis teaches us how police reform has always been integral to making the police state more durable and difficult to dismantle. Along those lines, reformist objections to data-driven policing either question the costs and effectiveness or warn about racism from “dirty data” or “feedback loops” that encode the biases of law enforcement. These criticisms object to the execution of predictive policing, treating racism as an unfortunate side effect of these programs rather than the foundational ideology and framework. Both proponents of data-driven policing and its mainstream opponents ignore the fundamental role and purpose of policing.

Our fight to abolish predictive policing must organize against the full ecology of actors who serve to strengthen policing. Abolition requires building a culture of resistance against that ecosystem, a culture of “fuck the police.” As the George Floyd rebellion laid bare, our people know what they want: police off their backs, an end to policing. Even when people don’t say abolition, the vision is there. The resistance has always been there. You just need to be present for it.

No matter what we face – “predictive” policing yesterday, “data-driven” policing today, who knows what tomorrow – our power grows in the culture of resistance we build. Policing is part of a war launched centuries ago by slavers and colonizers trying to control our ancestors. For just as long, people have been fighting back. Join the fight!