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Black Men File Lawsuits For Wrongful Arrests Due To Faulty Facial Recognition Technology

One man and several others have been misidentified by the police and taken into custody. And now they're taking action regarding the mishap.

Randal Quaran

Randal Quaran was driving to his mother’s house the day after Thanksgiving last year before being pulled over and arrested, only to be locked up for several days, according to NBC News.

The police at the time said he was wanted for crimes in Louisiana, though Quaran was adamant that he never even visited the state. It was found that Quaran was a victim of law enforcement misusing facial recognition technology, and now he is filing a lawsuit.

“I was confused and I was angry because I didn’t know what was going on,” Quran told The Associated Press. “They couldn’t give me any information outside of, ‘You’ve got to wait for Louisiana to come take you,’ and there was no timeline on that.”

At the age of 29, Quaran is among at least five Black plaintiffs who have already filed lawsuits against law enforcement in recent years, contesting that they were misidentified by facial recognition technology, and then wrongly arrested.

In fact, three of those lawsuits, including one by an eight-months-pregnant woman accused of carjacking, are against the Detroit police.

What does this facial recognition technology do? It allows law enforcement agencies “to feed images from video surveillance into software that can search government databases or social media for a possible match."

Those against the technology say it results in more misidentifications of people of color than white folks. Supporters have said it is critical in capturing drug dealers, solving killings, rescuing missing persons and finding and rescuing human trafficking victims. It is also noted that a vast majority of images that are scoured are those of criminal mugshots, and not driver’s license photos or random pictures of individuals.

But some cities and states have limited its use.

“The use of this technology by law enforcement, even if standards and protocols are in place, has grave civil liberty and privacy concerns,” said Sam Starks, a senior attorney with The Cochran Firm in Atlanta, which is representing Quran. “And that’s to say nothing about the reliability of the technology itself.”

Filed Sept. 8 in federal court, the lawsuit names Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto and Detective Andrew Bartholomew as defendants.

The lawsuit said Bartholomew, using surveillance video, relied on just a match generated by facial recognition technology to seek an arrest warrant for Reid following a stolen credit card being used to buy two purses for north of $8,000 from a consignment store outside of New Orleans in June of 2022.

"Bartholomew did not conduct even a basic search into Mr. Reid, which would have revealed that Mr. Reid was in Georgia when the theft occurred,” the lawsuit said.

The suit accuses Bartholomew of false arrest, negligence and malicious prosecution.

Quran had battles of his own. He wasn’t released until six days after the fact, and the food in jail made him sick.

To this day, as expected, the stop and arrest Quaran endured still haunts him.

“Every time I see police in my rearview mirror, he said, “it just flashes back my mind to what could have happened even though I hadn’t done anything.”

1 Comment

Irish Arabic
Irish Arabic
Sep 27, 2023

It is also noted that the overwhelming majority of scanned snow rider 3d images are mugshots of criminals, not driver's license photos or random images of individuals.

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