NO MASS SURVEILLANCE
*This article has been updated to include more information*
Ypsilanti Township does not have a police department; the washtenaw county sheriff’s office (WCSO) is the primary police department patrolling the township.
The township, in conjunction with the WCSO, is currently considering installing 60 to 70 surveillance cameras all over the municipality: at every street that enters and exits the 32-square-mile region. These cameras are being sold as ‘license plate readers’ (LPRs); local organizers have pointed out that the data from these LPRs have been used much more broadly and by more enforcement agencies than is claimed by the national dealer of the LPRs, so-called ‘Flock Safety.’ (See flyers below.) A related technology, ShotSpotter, has been shown to be ineffective and a waste of officer time. This article shows how “good intentions” were used to support its installment, which targeted areas that were already overpoliced.
Many local organizers and organizations, including the Washtenaw General Defense Committee (GDC), are raising the alarm that the installation of these surveillance cameras would greatly harm our community, and especially Black, Brown, and poor residents. It has been pointed out that this technology could include an added layer of danger in a post-Roe country. Organizers have asked concerned residents of the township and county to show up and speak out at the next Ypsi Twp. board of trustees working meeting at 5pm on Aug. 16th. The meeting will take place at 7200 S. Huron River Drive. Please see the flyers below for much more information.
You can also take the “community feedback survey” circulated by the washtenaw county sheriff’s department at this link. Read more about Flock from the ACLU here, scan any municipality’s surveillance abilities here, and see the most recent update from the township (June 15th) here.
You are invited to print and circulate any of the flyers.