Beating ShotSpotter in Firearms Trials

Beating ShotSpotter in Firearms Trials

On Behalf of Wampler & Passanise

Until 10 years ago, the standard gun trial consisted of police officers testifying that they recovered a gun from on or near the suspect and an “expert” concluding the gun was operable and/or manufactured out of state. Today, even the most routine gun cases commonly involved fingerprints and DNA testing, evidence derived from clients’ social media accounts and smartphones, video, and increasing amounts of evidence due to new technologies, such as ShotSpotter.

Increasing types and quantities of government evidence in gun cases which are necessary for combating gun cases in a new era.

Shotspotter (known as SST) detects gunfire using an array of GPS-enabled microphone sensors to geo-locate detected gunshots using a mathematical process called “multilateration”; an acoustic surveillance technology that uses sophisticated sensors to detect, locate and alert law enforcement agencies of illegal gunfire in real time.

This allows police to log the exact time and location of discharge and may allow to arrive at the scene when the suspect is nearby.

The government is contracting with a private companies to install microphones on rooftops, which are frequently privately owned, “High crime areas” , i.e., communities of color. These microphones pick up loud sounds that may be gunshots, or fireworks, or trucks backfiring.

Thes technologies provide “weapons” that allow law enforcement to locate and respond to gunfire, even before it is reported.