Since the campaign’s launch, the need for CCOPS laws has grown significantly due to two transformational moments. First, CCOPS gained additional urgency on November 8, 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president on a platform that included identifying and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, tracking Muslims, and even more aggressively policing communities of color. CCOPS laws were needed to empower city councils to say “no” to these increased surveillance efforts and the secret sharing of surveillance data with federal agencies like ICE. The need for CCOPS laws escalated again in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, as nationwide police defund/divest movements gained momentum. CCOPS laws are critical to ensuring lower-funded police forces simply do not pivot from more costly, racially biased human policing to less costly, racially biased high-tech policing.
To date, CCOPS laws have been adopted in 21 jurisdictions from coast to coast, where they serve to protect and empower over 17 million people. In 2019, the nation’s first municipal ban on the use of facial recognition technology came as a part of a CCOPS law in San Francisco, and in 2020, the nation’s largest city and police force – New York City – adopted a CCOPS law.
Governments and police forces should not be able to use surveillance technologies for any purpose without informing and securing the permission of the people they serve. If you don’t have that right where you live, you should demand your elected representatives sponsor and adopt a CCOPS law. This website has all the resources you need to start a CCOPS effort in your own city or town, and the ACLU is standing by to help!