STOP ShotSpotter Webinar

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Stop Shotspotter Free Webinar panel discussion next graphic
What is #ShotSpotter and why is Mayor Harrell fighting to include it in the 2024 SPD budget?

Tune in at 5:30 pm on Wednesday Nov. 8th to learn why community partners are fighting this addition to the budget. 

ShotSpotter (aka SoundThinking), is an acoustic gunshot detection technology that Seattle City Council is currently debating funding in the 2024 budget. Join our expert panelists to discuss the impacts, risks, and potential harms of this surveillance technology, as seen in cities across the country.

For the second straight year, the Seattle Police Department is asking for new budget authority for a pilot of Shotspotter. Community has already rejected Shotspotter three times: first in 2012, then in 2016, and most recently last year. Now, in addition to this acoustic surveillance technology, Mayor Harrell wants to fund SPD video surveillance as well (CCTV cameras in public spaces).

Shotspotter has no significant impact on firearm-related homicides or arrest outcomes, and there is no evidence the addition of CCTV changes Shotspotter’s 90% false positive rate. Many cities have already implemented the combination of Shotspotter and CCTV, including Chicago, New York City, Milwaukee, and Miami, and yet we are still seeing problems of low accuracy and effectiveness, along with over-policing in Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. When technology with a high false positive rate is implemented it leads to false arrests and creates many unnecessary contacts between police and innocent civilians. ShotSpotter has also been shown to be a massive drain on police departments, which could exacerbate current SPD staffing shortages.

Panelists include:
  • Aje Amaechi, Digital Organizer at Freedom to Thrive Portland
  • Gregory Davis, Managing Strategist at Rainier Beach Action Coalition
  • Mohammad Tajsar, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Southern California
  • Jonathan Manes, Attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center
  • Moderated by; Aretha Basu, Puget Sound Sage Political Director