The Utah Attorney General's Office and multiple law enforcement agencies across the state have suspended their contracts with a surveillance company after reports that its founder had previously been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
The company, Banjo.io, uses AI to analyze GPS data, images and video scrapped from social media posts, surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, and 911 call logs, to reconstruct the timelines behind particular crimes, accidents, or other events.
Banjo CEO and founder Damien Patton had previously been a member of the Dixie Knights chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and participated in a drive-by shooting at a synagogue in Nashville when he was 17.
The Utah Attorney General's office has suspended all of its contracts with the data collection and surveillance company Banjo.io after learning its founder and CEO had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan as a teenager
According to a report in OneZero based on court transcripts, Patton admitted to having participated in meetings where 'speakers advocated for the elimination of Blacks and Jews, among other beliefs built around racism and religious discrimination.'
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes's office said they had been unaware of Patton's past and were 'shocked and dismayed' by the news.
They announced they would be suspended all contracts with Banjo and recommended all other law enforcement agencies to do the same.
In a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune, Reyes's office said they 'absolutely condemn the hate and violence promoted by supremacist groups and will continue to aggressively fight crimes and decry domestic terror perpetrated by them.'
The Attorney General's office has said it will set up a third-party audit and advisory committee to review the state's surveillance initiatives for potential bias.
Patton has expressed remorse for his past. 'For all of those I have hurt, and that this revelation will hurt, I’m sorry,' he wrote in a statement to The Salt Lake