The secret surveillance of ‘suspicious’ blacks in one of the nation’s poshest neighborhoods

Author: Terrence McCoy

Old biases persist in new ways in the digital age: “In February of last year, the Georgetown Business Improvement District partnered with District police to launch the effort, which they call a ‘real-time mobile-based group-messaging app that connects Georgetown businesses, police officers and community members.’ Since then, the app has attracted nearly 380 users who surreptitiously report on — and photograph — shoppers in an attempt to deter crime…A review by the Business Improvement District of all the messages since January — more than 3,000 — revealed that nearly 70 percent of those people were black. The employees often allege shoplifting. But other times, retailers don’t accuse these shoppers of anything beyond seeming suspicious.”

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