May 23, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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An African American has been falsely arrested for using facial recognition technology

An African American has been falsely arrested for using facial recognition technology

An African American has been falsely arrested by police for using facial recognition technology in a complaint filed Wednesday in Detroit.

According to the complaint, in early January, Robert Williams spent 30 hours in custody because software found a photo of his driving license and a picture of a watch thief captured by surveillance cameras, according to the complaint.

He was arrested in front of his home in the presence of his wife and two daughters, aged 2 and 5, and handcuffed. “How do you explain to two children that the computer made a mistake, but the police heard something?”, He wrote in a published column. Washington Post.

According to his account, after spending a night in the cell, officers asked him if he had ever been to a jewelry store in Detroit, a major industrial city in the north, and were shown two vague photos of a black man.

“I took the paper and put it near my face and said, ‘I believe you don’t think all blacks are the same.’ The police looked at each other and one of them said: “The computer must be wrong”, he said.

Without the federal legal framework, facial recognition technology, which has been used for many years by various police services in the United States, has been accused of lacking credibility in identifying minorities, especially blacks or Asians. But no specific case of error has been registered so far.

Since the death of forty-something black George Floyd who was inhaled by white police in Minneapolis on May 28, Americans at demonstrations across the country have called for police reform and activists have called for it to be repealed. Technology.

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Many companies, such as Amazon, IBM, or Microsoft, which are anxious to respond to this equation, have stopped selling identification software to the police until clear rules are laid down. Cities such as San Francisco or Springfield have also abandoned this technology.

The ACLU, a powerful civil rights group representing Robert Williams in Detroit City Hall, on Wednesday demanded the removal of its criminal record and the withdrawal of facial recognition. City police.