Friday, July 10, 2020

Black Democrats in Lansing propose banning facial recognition technology in Michigan

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 11:11 AM

click to enlarge DPD Chief James Craig inside the city's Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • DPD Chief James Craig inside the city's Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters.

Mounting calls to ban facial recognition technology are now coming from every level of government, from the city of Detroit to Congress.

Democrats in the state House said Thursday they are proposing a ban on the technology as part of a sweeping overhaul of police departments following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The ban was proposed by Detroit Democrats and the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus.



Similar bills were introduced in the U.S. House and Senate last month, just days after the ACLU filed a complaint against Detroit police for arresting the wrong Black man after the technology incorrectly flagged him as a shoplifting suspect.

Detroit City Council is considering a proposal that would effectively end facial recognition by refusing to extend a contract with one of the companies that handles the city’s software.

Facial-recognition technology has come under fire as a growing number of experts say it’s unconstitutional, unreliable, and racially biased. Studies have shown that the software misidentifies people of color more often than white people, which Metro Times reported in cover story in July 2019.

"The bias of facial recognition is evident and documented," state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, D-Detroit, said at a news conference, The Detroit Free Press reports.

"This is a perfect example of why I call for defunding the police as we know it," Gay-Dagnogo said.

"I call for the abolishment of it as it unfairly targets and allows African Americans to be profiled," and "it's a waste of money."

State Rep. Tyrone Carter, D-Detroit, a retired lieutenant with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, said he supports a moratorium until problems with the software are worked out.

"Put this tool back in the tool box, until you work out the bugs," Carter said.

It’s not yet clear whether the Democrats can drum up enough support in the GOP-dominated House and Senate to ban the technology. Democrats said they are working with Republicans on the police reform bill.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

Sept. 22, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation