KyCIR: To solve murders, Louisville police turn to ‘geofence’ warrants — but net few arrests by Jacob Ryan, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting:
Last month, as dozens of people gathered for a vigil to remember and honor 16-year-old Tyree Smith, a Jefferson Circuit Court judge was signing search warrants that police hoped would help them track down his killer.
Police had no suspects in the shooting that killed Smith on the morning of September 22, while he waited for the school bus at the intersection of West Chestnut and Dr. W.J. Hodge streets. They had little evidence beyond a description of a Jeep Cherokee that pulled up to the bus stop before someone got out and shot at a group of students, according to a search warrant filed earlier this month with the Office of the Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk.
Warrants typically focus on a suspect. But for this case, the LMPD turned to a tactic that police across the country are using more than ever before: a geofence warrant for the area.
LMPD Detective Jason Maguire’s geofence search warrant ordered Google to turn over user data collected near the scene of the shooting and a second location of interest, in hopes of pinpointing potential suspects.