Murder suspect mistakenly fitted with GPS tracker on artificial leg
Dana Hamilton was murdered on May 14th, and for almost a week, police in Washington, DC had no suspects. However, an anonymous source told the police to look into Green.
At first, they did not consider him a suspect because, according to the tracking device placed on his leg by an employee of California-based government contractor Sentinel, he hadn’t left his apartment in a few days. He had also been told by the court to stay away from the intersection of Chesapeake Street and Southern Avenue SE.
However, when police checked camera footage taken from Hamilton’s place of death on Southern Avenue, they noticed the gunman had a pronounced limp.
Green was fitted with a GPS tracking device after he was arrested for carrying a pistol without a license, WTTG reported. But when police got a warrant to search his residence, they made an alarming discovery: The device was in his living room. As was his leg.
The records from the device show it hadn’t moved much during a 72-hour period because it had been attached to Green’s prosthetic leg and not skin as per Sentinel’s protocol.
“Why would they put it on a prosthetic leg?” Lillie Hamilton, Dana’s mother, said to WUSA. “When it was supposed to go on the person’s real leg?”
Russ Mullins, an executive shop steward at the Fraternal Order of Police, echoed her exasperation, saying: “Here you have a company [Sentinel] that comes along, working with DC government, and doesn’t even follow their own protocols.”
Instead of using cash bonds, DC allows defendants to be released on their own recognizance or to be fitted with a GPS tracking device from Sentinel.
Cliff Keenan, the director of the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia, blamed human error for the mistake, saying: "With this company over the last three years we have had nearly five thousand placements of GPS devices on individuals.
“As of today we have about 480 people in the community with a GPS device. This is the first time the company or I have heard of this incident or this kind of incident happening.”