FCC complaint: Baltimore police phone trackers disrupt calls

August 17, 2016

Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint against the Baltimore Police Department's use of a portable technology that mimics cell towers to locate suspects and their cell phones.

A complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington says the Baltimore Police Department's use of the cellphone tracking "stingray" devices interferes with emergency calls and is racially discriminatory.

Laura Moy, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, says the devices' interference could prevent callers from reaching 911. She says the devices have been disproportionately placed in black neighborhoods.

FCC spokesman Neil Grace tells The Baltimore Sun (bsun.md/2bb3IU3 ) that the commission is reviewing the complaint. The police department declined to comment.

The case is being brought by Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute.

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