TO: Mayor of Chicago
DATE: 4th October 2021
SUBJECT: Crisis in Chicago
The insecurity crisis evident in Chicago caused by the ongoing firearm violence is one that frustrates the efforts adopted by the police in combating criminal activities in the city. In furtherance of the promotion of peace in Chicago, the Chicago Police Department submitted a proposal to the office of the Mayor for the installation of new cameras throughout the city. The new cameras installed would help the police in bolstering the city’s facial recognition capabilities capturing the faces of shooters and, in turn, reducing the criminal activities in the city. The public surveillance cameras proposed by the CPD play an influential role in deterring, documenting, and reducing illegal activities. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees every citizen’s right to privacy. However, the Amendment protects citizens from all seizures and searches, primarily those deemed unreasonable before the law. CCTV cameras will also help the police identify perpetrators who committed crimes even in circumstances where no one is aware of their criminal conduct. The growth and adoption of advanced facial recognition provide more significant and productive, and accurate insights into reporting criminal behavior. Additionally, having cameras in public places gives the citizens a sense of security. Therefore, the measure to introduce surveillance cameras in Chicago is constitutional and prudent in fighting crime.
The American Liberties Union acknowledges that the security agencies must take more stringent measures to counter the criminal activities evidenced in Chicago. The ACLU, however, opposes the installation of surveillance cameras to be positioned strategically in the city that will provide facial recognition to combat the criminal activities in the city. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution particularly articulates that every citizen shall have the right to privacy and is protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. It is an infringement on one’s civil liberties to have the state watch over and film innocent people that are not doing any criminal activity in public places. CCTV cameras should not be used as a substitute for the police to fight crime on the streets. Security cameras also have a high possibility of recording and capturing innocent civilians and implicating them in criminal activities they have no idea of. The information acquired by the government from the surveillance cameras may be detrimental to the citizens should the information fall into the wrong hands. Public interest and civil liberties must be protected in the fight against crime. Therefore, the installation of surveillance cameras in Chicago is unconstitutional and imprudent as it violates the citizens’ right to privacy.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees every citizen’s right to privacy. Accordingly, the provision provides that citizens are protected from unlawful searches and seizures. It is an indisputable fact that there exist security concerns in the city of Chicago, most of which result from the illegal use of firearms which poses a threat to other citizens in the town. On the one hand, citizens have a right to be protected from perpetrators of criminal activities in the city. The police have a duty to protect the citizens accordingly through the maintenance of law and order. On the other hand, the Chicago Police Department proposes the installation of surveillance cameras in the city as a method of curbing criminal activities in the city. On the other hand, there has to be a balance between the right to safety and security, the need to curb crime in the city, and the citizens’ right to privacy and civil liberties. Still, the cameras should be subject to moral laws to ensure the information obtained is not abused, used against an innocent citizen who might prejudice his or her constitutionally granted rights. In so doing, I propose the installation of surveillance cameras in the city.
The United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment.
Carpenter v United States 138 S. Ct. 2206.
Mahmood Rajpoot, Q., & Jensen C.D., Video Surveillance: Privacy Issues and Legal Compliance (2015) Promoting Social Cahnge and Democracy through Information Technology IGI global.
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