Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) created controversy this week when she suggested that anyone who was not black could not adequately perform tasks related to operating facial recognition software in the Detroit Police Department. Her remarks that drew sharp condemnation from the head of the department.
“Analysts need to be African Americans, not people that are not,” Tlaib told Detroit Police Chief James Craig. “Non-African Americans think African Americans all look the same.”
Craig immediately responded to Tlaib: “I trust people who are trained regardless of race and regardless of gender. It is about the training.”
Later, speaking to a local news outlet, Craig said: “The fact that she made that statement, what does that say to the members of this department who are analysts, who are trained, who are white? That they in some way can’t do their job professionally? That’s insulting.”
Detroit Police Chief James Craig asked if her making that statement with no backlash was a “double standard.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 3, 2019
“But here’s what’s troubling, as a police chief who happens to be African-American in this city, if I made a similar statement people would be calling for my resignation right now,” Craig continued.
“It’s our analysts who go through with tremendous rigor and identify the most probable suspect, if at all,” Craig said. “It’s not the technology — it’s the people behind the technology. If we just relied solely on the technology and we went to the top match, we would misidentify probably as much as 95% of the time.”
Tlaib doubled down on her racist remarks when pressed by the local news outlet.
The Washington Free Beacon noted on Wednesday that far-left Tlaib has “promoted at least four racially charged hoaxes or debunked stories on Twitter in 2019 and failed to issue statements retracting or correcting her comments.”
Tlaib is 0 for 4.
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) October 2, 2019
Click On Detroit noted that an analyst named Andrew gave the network an example of how the technology works: “There was a shooting at the location. They said they have video of the incident. So we got a copy of the video and saw where we could get the best screenshot of the suspect. Once we run it through the software, it spits out all these mugshots. There is roughly about 178 mugshots that come up. Then it is up to us as analysts, being the human, component to look through and actually identify the person if we can.”
“He then starts to look at other databases,” Craig added. “So he’ll scan social media. Magically, he has the name of the subject. He has the subject’s social media page. He says, ‘OK, the social media photo closely resembles this photograph from the shooting.'”
Fox News added:
The tour, which was recorded and then posted by a reporter with The Detroit News, got off to a rocky start when Tlaib asked the reporter, “Are you facial recognizing me right now? I’m sorry who are you and why are you videotaping me?”
Afterward, the Detroit News reporter followed up on Tlaib’s assertion that only black people should be hired to use the facial recognition software.
“Are you saying white people are not qualified to — ,” he said, before Tlaib cut him off.
“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 said.
When asked if that would mean African-Americans should not be allowed to identify white people, Tlaib said, “Look it up,” and walked away.
The meeting Tlaib had with the Detroit Police Department came after she used vulgar language in a tweet attacking them, which prompted a response from the department.
“@detroitpolice You should probably rethink this whole facial recognition bulls**t,” Tlaib tweeted.
“@RashidaTlaib Before you criticize the software, come to our Real Time Crime Center to see how we responsibly use it in efforts to identify criminals involved in violent crimes,” the department responded. “Let’s set a date.”
@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. https://t.co/aR7DOjQe2a
— Detroit Police Dept. (@detroitpolice) August 20, 2019