In the last decade, as DNA became the gold standard of forensic evidence, DNA collection by law enforcers became routine. At least 56 countries have a national DNA database. In the United States, the FBI’s database contains 5 million profiles, and DNA is also gathered at state and local levels, where a patchwork of laws govern how it’s collected and managed. Some states gather DNA from anyone arrested for a felony, or use so-called “DNA dragnets” to gather samples from anyone in geographical proximity to a crime. And samples may be kept indefinitely, even if suspects are cleared of charges.
Civil rights advocates have warned that demographically unbalanced forensic DNA data banks could “create a feedback loop.” Because samples are stored and compared against DNA collected at future crime scenes, police will be more likely to pursue crimes committed by members of overrepresented groups, while underrepresented groups can more easily evade detection.” —
Reminds me of the police surrounding South Side Chicago and searching house to house to find the black man who killed a white girl in Native Son.