Rashida Tlaib: Detroit Police Must Only Hire Black Facial Recognition Analysts

Rashida Tlaib
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Monday urged Detroit’s police chief to solely hire black employees as analysts to run their facial recognition program, claiming other ethnicities believe black people “all look the same,” according to the Detroit News.

“Analysts need to be African-Americans, not people that are not,” Tlaib reportedly told Detriot police chief James Craig during a tour of the Real Time Crime Center, the city’s 24-hour threat-gathering hub where facial recognization is used to identify suspects. “I think non-African-Americans think African-Americans all look the same!” the freshman congresswoman added, arguing that Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and John Lewis (D-GA) are often confused for one another because they are both black and bald.

Tlaib’s suggestion seemingly irked Craig, who is black, prompting him to respond: “I trust people who are trained, regardless of race, regardless of gender,”

“I understand the technology real well,” he added.

The far-left “Squad” member then claimed the system’s “error rate” among blacks, particularly women, stands at 60 percent.

“See if you can get some of our money back until they fix it,” Tlaib suggested to Craig, to which he tersely replied, “No.”

As Breitbart News has reported, inaccuracy in facial recognition has resulted in false positives for dozens of U.S. lawmakers of many different ethnic backgrounds:

Amazon’s facial recognition tool, which the company sells to government agencies and other customers, reportedly misidentified 28 members of Congress as police suspects.

The experiment was conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who paid “just $12.33 to have Amazon Rekognition compare official photos of every member of the U.S. House and Senate against a database of 25,000 public arrest photos,” and the results showed 28 members of Congress were matched with police suspects, with Reuters claiming the matches “were disproportionately people of color.”

39 percent were reportedly “African-American and Latino lawmakers, versus 20 percent who identify as a person of color in Congress.”

Following the contentious tour, a Detroit News reporter pressed Tlaib on her suggestion to only hire black people for the facial recognition program and asked if she believes white people are “not qualified” to operate the software.

“No, I think there’s actually been studies out that it’s hard for, you know, like African-Americans would identify African-Americans, similar, Latino same thing,” she replied.

In August, Detroit’s police invited Tlaib to tour the Real Time Crime Center after she slammed the city’s facial recognition software as “bulls**t.”

@RashidaTlaib Before you criticize the software, come to our Real Time Crime Center to see how we @detroitpolice responsibly use it in efforts to identify criminals involved in violent crimes. Let’s set a date,” the department replied.


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