Complex magazine is suggesting the LAPD was secretly targeting the late Nipsey Hussle and his Marathon Clothing store under a program called LASER.
The LASER (Los Angeles Strategic Extraction and Restoration) program, as discussed in a recent episode of the Guardian’s Today in Focus podcast, was designed to utilize what’s described as “predictive policing technology.” Notably, the “secretive’ program—which launched in 2011—ended back in 2019 amid widespread criticism.
Law professor Andrew Ferguson told CBS News back in 2020 that LASER, essentially, was built on “the metaphor that they were going to, like laser surgery, remove the tumors, the bad actors from the community.” The idea itself, Ferguson pointed out, was “offensive.”
Ultimately included as part of the LASER targeting, per a new report, was Nipsey’s Marathon Clothing store Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles.
Predictive policing isn’t a new phenomena in Los Angeles.
USC engineering students built a program called ARMOR that was used at LAX airport under the tenure of Inglewood Mayor James Butts who hailed the programs success because it gives off the appearance there are more cops available than usual.
The new random placement “makes travelers safer” and even gives them “a greater feeling of police presence” by making the cops appear more numerous, says Butts. That’s good for visitors and, officials hope, bad for would-be terrorists.
ARMOR was implemented due to a mandate by then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to make the airport safer.
The program successfully launched in 2011, but ended in 2019 due to criticism.
Listen to the podcast episode by clicking here.