Technology

Why Some Cops Hate Waze, The App Highway Drivers Love

In this March 15 photo, Ben Gleitzman demonstrates a traffic and navigation app called Waze on his Apple iPhone outside of his car in Menlo Park, Calif., showing a map of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. (Paul Sakuma/AP Photo)
In this March 15 photo, Ben Gleitzman demonstrates a traffic and navigation app called Waze on his Apple iPhone outside of his car in Menlo Park, Calif., showing a map of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. (Paul Sakuma/AP Photo)

 

(The Washington Post) – Before cop killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley ambushed two New York police officers last month, police said, he wrote on his Instagram: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs.” He apparently expressed support on social media for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who were killed by police.

Brinsley also posted a screenshot from Waze, a navigation app that allows millions of users to help each other track traffic, road hazards, construction zones and the whereabouts of police officers watching for speeders, among other things. It’s immensely popular, particularly with people who spend a lot of time on interstates.

Investigators don’t think Brinsley used the app in his attack against NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu — partly because he threw out his cellphone more than two miles from the scene. But a Los Angeles police chief doesn’t buy it, and he fears the technology could aid others who want to hunt and kill cops. He’s not alone.

In a letter, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck urged Google, which owns the app, to disable the feature that warns drivers when police are close by.

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