Department Colloquium Series - Sarah Brayne: Policing Data


Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 3:00pm to 4:30pm


William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, Room 1550

Department of Sociology Colloquium Series presentation by Sarah Brayne, University of Texas at Austin.


In the past decade, two structural forces intersected: the growth of criminal justice surveillance and the rise of so-called ‘big data.’ The most technologically advanced police departments now use predictive algorithms, network analyses, and other advanced analytic tools for patrol, investigations, and crime analysis. Drawing on fieldwork conducted within the Los Angeles Police Department, this talk offers an empirical account of how the adoption of big data analytics does—and does not—transform police surveillance practices, and to what consequence for social inequality. As law enforcement’s use of big data is also a means by which the police themselves come under increased surveillance, the talk will conclude by analyzing forms of officers’ professional resistance.