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Tue Apr 13, 2021, 07:38 PM

Farmington Hills man sues Detroit police after facial recognition wrongly identifies him

Also: Wrongfully arrested man sues Detroit police over false facial recognition match (Washington Post)

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Source: Detroit Free Press

Farmington Hills man sues Detroit police after facial recognition wrongly identifies him

Miriam Marini
Detroit Free Press
Published 4:07 p.m. ET Apr. 13, 2021 | Updated 4:31 p.m. Apr. 13, 2021

Detroit police's reliance on facial recognition technology ended in the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of a Farmington Hills man, and now he's suing.

Robert Williams, 43, was falsely identified as a suspect in a theft investigation in which a man shoplifted from a Shinola store in October 2018. Williams was arrested in front of his family on Jan. 9, 2020, and held for 30 hours before he was released on a personal bond, the complaint states.

Williams' case was deemed the first wrongful arrest from using the highly controversial facial recognition technology before the Free Press learned it was actually the second. Detroit police continue to fund and defend its Project Greenlight, despite pushback from critics, citing studies that say the technology is incredibly faulty especially when used to identify people of color.

"Cities across the country have banned police from using facial recognition technology for a reason," said Jeremy Shur, a student attorney with the University of Michigan Law School's Civil Rights Litigation Initiative, which is among three organizations representing Williams. "The technology is racially biased, flawed and easily leads to false arrests of innocent people, just like our client."

In a statement to the Free Press on Tuesday, Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said new policies are in place to prevent similar events from occurring and an internal investigation found there was misconduct on the part of several members of the department.

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Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2021/04/13/detroit-police-wrongful-arrest-faulty-facial-recognition/7207135002/

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Source: Washington Post

Wrongfully arrested man sues Detroit police over false facial recognition match

The case could fuel criticism of police investigators’ use of a controversial technology that has been shown to perform worse on people of color

By Drew Harwell
April 13, 2021 at 4:18 p.m. EDT

A Michigan man has sued Detroit police after he was wrongfully arrested and falsely identified as a shoplifting suspect by the department’s facial recognition software in one of the first lawsuits of its kind to call into question the controversial technology’s risk of throwing innocent people in jail.

Robert Williams, a 43-year-old father in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, was arrested last year on charges he’d taken watches from a Shinola store after police investigators used a facial recognition search of the store’s surveillance-camera footage that identified him as the thief.

Prosecutors dropped the case less than two weeks later, arguing that officers had relied on insufficient evidence. Police Chief James Craig later apologized for what he called “shoddy” investigative work. Williams, who said he had been driving home from work when the 2018 theft had occurred, was interrogated by detectives and held in custody for 30 hours before his release.

Williams’s case sparked a public outcry about the fast-growing police use of a technology that research has shown often misidentifies people of color. His lawsuit is at least the third in the United States brought by Black men to raise doubts about the software’s accuracy.

The case could heighten the legal challenges for a technology that is largely unregulated in the country, even as it has become a prolific investigative tool used by police forces and federal investigators. While the software has been banned by more than a dozen cities nationwide, it has been cited in a growing number of criminal cases, including in the landmark investigation of rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/04/13/facial-recognition-false-arrest-lawsuit/

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Reply Farmington Hills man sues Detroit police after facial recognition wrongly identifies him (Original post)
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