Richmond license plate camera surveillance raises concerns

Richmond

RPD patrol car (WRIC file photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A plan by Richmond police to install cameras that capture every passing license plate in certain neighborhoods is sparking concerns among critics who see cameras as an invasive way to surveil already over-policed neighborhoods.

Critics note that the neighborhoods chosen tend to be where residents are mostly Black and brown. The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes the police department as saying that the areas to be surveilled were determined using crime trends, input from officers and command staff and site surveys throughout the city.

Barrett Hardiman is a member of the board of commissioners for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. He’s concerned that the cameras could be used for minor infractions or as a pretext for invasive stops.

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