The Minneapolis Police Department has a wide breadth of surveillance technologies that could be used to monitor and target protesters — including controversial facial recognition software Clearview AI, license plate readers, body cameras, and video analysis tools. The department and law enforcement agencies in neighboring cities have a history of surveilling residents with tech that can speed up the process of identifying and possibly arresting people.
After investigations were opened this month into the deaths of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis and an unarmed black woman in Louisville, Kentucky following police action, protests have broken out across the United States — including in Minneapolis, Denver, Columbus, and New York — expressing grief and outrage and demanding an end to police brutality.
Minneapolis has been the center of these protests following the May 25 death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died after a white police officer detained him and placed him in a knee chokehold. The moments before Floyd’s death, which were captured on camera, showed him struggling to breathe, repeatedly telling police, “I can’t breathe” and “they’re going to kill me.”