Surveillance Firm Loses Utah Deal Over CEO’s KKK Past

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The Utah Attorney General’s Office will suspend use of a massive surveillance system after a news report showed that the founder of the company behind the effort was once an active participant in a white supremacist group and was involved in the shooting of a synagogue.

Damien Patton, who helped launch and now leads the secretive Park City-based startup Banjo, was part of the Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as a 17 year old and joined a leader of the group in a drive-by shooting of a synagogue in a Nashville suburb, according to a report by the online outlet OneZero citing transcripts of courtroom testimony, sworn statements and more than 1,000 pages of records produced from a federal hate crime prosecution.

Utah officials in 2018 had awarded Patton’s company a sole-source, $750,000 contract to provide massive real-time surveillance of 911 calls, social media and traffic cameras. The company has also signed a $20.7 million contract with the state.

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