Photo of Meena Roldán Oberdick

Meena Roldán Oberdick

  • Hosted by LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location Long Island, New York
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Police/Government Misconduct, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Meena’s (she/her/hers) project focuses on documenting and challenging the discriminatory effects of precision policing tactics on Long Island, New York.

“Precision policing” presumes that police can predict and prevent crimes before they happen by concentrating investigations and surveillance on so-called “hot spot” neighborhoods or particular social networks. Although touted as a solution to biased policing, these forms of data and surveillance driven proactive policing tend to exacerbate racial disparities in policing and subject impacted communities to increased police presence and surveillance.

Meena’s motivation for challenging discriminatory policing tactics and the consequences of disparate police harassment is driven by her personal experience growing up in an intentionally segregated midwestern city to a first-generation, Latina mother, paired with her extended family’s own experience with deportation. 

Fellowship Highlights to Date

In the first year of the Fellowship, Meena has:

  • Compiled a diverse range of data on Long Island precision policing tactics
  • Challenged Long Island law enforcement agencies’ lack of transparency by appealing their adverse Freedom of Information Law determinations via Article 78 petitions in New York Supreme Court
  • Met regularly with coalitions of community partners and service providers to advocate for much needed criminal legal systems reforms
  • Participated in litigation to challenge racial profiling by police in Suffolk County

Next Steps

In the next few months, Meena plans to:

  • Engage in community education about precision policing and identify shared reform goals
  • Continue holding law enforcement agencies accountable for violating New York open records laws
  • Publish investigative reports about the privacy, equity, and civil liberties implications of Long Island and statewide precision policing programs
  • Work with community groups to monitor and report on the Suffolk County Police Department’s efforts to reduce racial profiling

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