Washington, DC—Collecting DNA from suspected criminals
But Stephen Mercer, class of '94, Chief Attorney of the Forensics Division in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD), and Adjunct Faculty at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, warns it goes well beyond simply fighting crime. He warns of the risks associated with collecting and storing citizens DNA in databases and said many have no awareness what's actually going on in a recent Vice News Tonight on HBO segment.
"It's not informed consent. They're not informed that an actual DNA sample, their entire genetic blueprint, is now in the possession of police indefinitely," Mercer said. The implications, he argues, are looming large now.
"Do we want police to use technology in ways that are unregulated to subject people to surveillance along the lines of race and class? These are not claims of some dystopian genetic panopticon, we're talking about law enforcement practices right now, today," Mercer said.