Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco took office in 2011 with a bold plan: to create a cutting-edge intelligence program that could stop crime before it happened. But the machine Nocco built has turned into a system of organized harassment, according to a new investigation by grantees Neil Bedi and Kathleen McGrory at the Tampa Bay Times. Deputies swarm homes in the middle of the night, write tickets for overgrown grass and make arrests for any reason they can find.
Their investigation profiles several victims of the program’s monitoring and harassment, which identifies people likely to break the law based on lists of prior offenses and arbitrary police analysis. Their stories are harrowing and detail how the expanding program is ruining the lives of many in Pasco County, Florida.