U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib told Detroit police Chief James Craig he should employ only black people on the department’s facial recognition team because “non-African Americans think African-Americans all look the same.”

Police officials invited Tlaib to the facility inside Public Safety Headquarters to see how Detroit uses facial recognition software, after she criticized the technology in an Aug. 20 tweet. The congresswoman wrote: “@detroitpolice You should probably rethink this whole facial recognition bull—-.”

The tour, which lasted more than an hour, was often tense, with Tlaib and Craig wrangling over how the department uses the software, privacy issues, and concerns that the technology misidentifies a disproportionate number of darker-skinned people. A major point of contention: whether only black civilians should work in the crime center analyzing photos flagged by the software.

Craig said all officers and civilian employees go through mandatory implicit bias training.

“That’s something we train for, and it’s valuable training, but to say people should be barred from working somewhere because of their skin color? That’s racist.”

Editorial: Rashida Tlaib should wake up

Instead of apologizing, Tlaib directed her office to issue a flurry of studies raising concerns about the racial aspects of facial recognition technology. The complaints may be valid. But the studies don’t change the inappropriateness of Tlaib’s remarks.

Racism can rise from a lot of places, including from those who build their careers railing against it.

Tlaib, who considers herself among Congress’ most woke members, should wake up to that reality.

The above is an excerpt from the Detroit News

Following the tour Tlaib went on to post studies supporting her point on her Twitter account.

No votes yet.
Please wait...