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Sheriff to face trial over program to harass ‘future criminals’

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A federal judge has declined to dismiss a complaint that charges a sheriff with establishing a “predictive policing” program that targets “future criminals.”

The Institute for Justice reports the decision by Judge Steven Merryday in the case against Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco is a victory – at least for now – for the families who brought the complaint.

It means the plaintiffs will have their day in court.

“Today’s decision is an important step toward the ultimate dismantling of the program,” explained Ari Bargil, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, which represents the plaintiffs.

“By rejecting the PCSO’s attempt to have the case thrown out, the judge signaled that the plaintiffs’ claims are meritorious and that a full inquiry into the constitutional legitimacy of the program is necessary. We look forward to proving up our claims in the weeks and months to come.”

The lawsuit was filed in March and seeks to halt the county’s “dystopian ‘predictive policing’ program.”

According to the IJ, an award-winning Tampa Bay Times investigation uncovered deputies regularly would show up at the homes of targeted individuals unannounced and demand entry. If they or their parents don’t cooperate, deputies write tickets for

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