Clarification: BC-AP Investigation-Tracked story
CHICAGO (AP) — In a story published August 19, 2021, The Associated Press reported that a ShotSpotter engineer changed the reported Chicago address of a sound the company labeled a gunshot to the street where Michael Williams was driving. The story included ShotSpotter’s explanation that the engineer had corrected the street address that was generated in its initial real-time alert to match the actual street address that the company’s sensors had identified. The company has now provided the AP with a copy of the full real-time alert. The two reports the company issued – the initial real-time alert and the detailed forensic analysis later filed in court – contained a street address, location maps and latitude and longitude coordinates. The assigned street address changed from the first to the second report, but the location identified on the maps and GPS coordinates in both reports remained around the same intersection. ShotSpotter says the street address in the initial real-time alert sent to police was wrong because the GPS coordinates fell within a large park for which the officially designated address was about a mile away from the actual location identified by the sensors. In addition, the AP story misstated the status of an attorney who pressed a ShotSpotter engineer testifying in a trial to explain why one of its employees reclassified sounds from a helicopter to a bullet. The article said the attorney was a defense attorney but he was actually a prosecutor. The story also reported that in 2014, a judge in Richmond, California, didn’t allow ShotSpotter evidence to be used during a gang murder conspiracy case. ShotSpotter has now provided AP with additional court records showing that, three years later, the judge reconsidered admissibility of the ShotSpotter evidence and found, based upon the new evidence, that it could be admitted.