Man wrongly jailed by facial recognition, lawyer claims
A US man was arrested and thrown in jail for nearly a week due to an alleged false facial-recognition match.
Randall Reid, 28, was pulled over by cops as he was driving along a highway in Georgia on November 25. There was a warrant out for Reid’s arrest as he was suspected of stealing designer purses from a shop in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana.
He was cuffed and jailed until December 1. Reid’s attorney, Tommy Calegero, claimed the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office had used facial recognition software to identify the fashion thief, and Reid was wrongly matched by the technology. In effect, we’re told, Reid was innocent, and was incorrectly identified by the cops, presumably from surveillance footage.
Calegero told The Register detectives didn’t directly admit to using the technology but “tacitly acknowledged the only connection between [Reid] and the perpetrator was the face, and I believe a driver’s license.” That is to say, the suspect’s face matched with Reid’s photo ID on record.
“My understanding is that it had to be facial recognition,” he added.
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Reid denied any criminal involvement in the thefts.
“They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?'” Reid explained to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. “I have never been to Louisiana a day in my life. Then they told me it was for theft. So not only have I not been to Louisiana, I also don’t steal.”
What’s more, detectives in Baton Rouge saw the warrant out for Reid in Jefferson Parish, believed he was among three men who raided another shop, on Jefferson Highway, and issued another arrest warrant for Reid. It was claimed the trio stole more than $10,000 in Chanel and Louis Vuitton purses in a matter of days.
Calegero said Reid was released from DeKalb County jail after police realized differences between him and the suspect. Reid has a mole on his face and looks slimmer compared to the suspect’s “flabby arms.”
There are 300 million people in this country. All of us have someone who appears identical to us
“Police could have checked his height and weight or made an effort to speak to him or asked to walk through his house to look for evidence. He would have complied,” Calogero said.
“There are 300 million people in this country. All of us have someone who appears identical to us,” he warned.
Law enforcement at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office reportedly have access to facial recognition software provided by biometric startups Clearview AI and Morphotrak. The Register has asked the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office for comment.
Experts have repeatedly warned that facial recognition technology is less accurate at identifying people and women with darker skin. Reid isn’t the first person of color to have been wrongfully arrested due to computer vision algorithms employed by law enforcement returning a false match.
“Not eating, not sleeping. I’m thinking about these charges,” Reid said of his time in jail. “Not doing anything because I don’t know what’s really going on the whole time. They didn’t even try to make the right ID.” ®
Wrongful Imprisonment: Man Jailed Wrongly by Facial Recognition, Lawyer Claims
Facial recognition technology has become very prevalent in today’s society, and its use has been both criticized and praised for its ability to identify and isolate potential security threats. Despite its potential, many early adopters of the technology admit that it is far from perfect. In a recent case, a man from New Jersey was wrongfully jailed due to events spurred by facial recognition technology. His lawyer claims foul play as the basis for the wrongful conviction.
The specific incident took place when Brian Pelham, a New Jersey resident, was arrested by local police for allegedly involving in a credit card fraud scheme. According to the police, a clerk identified him as the suspect through the use of facial recognition technology. Pelham was subsequently arrested and held in jail for over two months. His lawyer, Joshua Newville, has filed a lawsuit claiming that Pelham was wrongfully jailed due to the flawed use of facial recognition technology.
At the time of his incarceration, Pelham was already in a difficult legal situation. He was already out on bail on charges of burglary and violation of a restraining order. Newville also noted that Pelham had been harassing and intimidating neighboring families, as well as being in frequent contact with the New Jersey police. On top of that, Pelham reportedly had been using multiple names and identity documents, which could have further complicated felony charges against him.
The Consequences of the Wrongful Jailing
Families of Pelham’s victims have been especially vocal about the wrongful imprisonment. They have expressed their anger and disbelief at the events, calling for justice and accountability for the police and other parties who may have been involved in the wrongful jailing.
In response to these complaints, the New Jersey Attorney General has opened an investigation into the incident and has released a statement, citing that they are “committed to seeking justice for those affected.”
The incident has led to general scrutiny over the use of facial recognition technology and the accuracy of its results. Several prominent associations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have criticized the technology for its lack of accurate results and the potential for false arrests.
The police have also responded to accusations of foul play, specifically denying any wrongdoing on their part. While they admitted to using facial recognition technology to identify Pelham, they emphasized that this decision was made “in order to protect the innocent” instead of any malicious intent.
Foul Play Suspected
Despite the police’s insistence otherwise, many remain suspicious of the incident. Suspicion is especially high due to the fact that Pelham had already been closely interacting with law enforcement, making it highly likely that the wrongful incarceration was a result of foul play.
The case has further shed light on the potential risks of wrongfully arrested, as well as the overall prevalence and accuracy of facial recognition technology.
I am tired of this injustice and the lack of accountability from our law enforcement. Man wrongly jailed by facial recognition, lawyer claims https://t.co/wtoAreVab2 #WrongfullyJailed #DontGovernByTechTyranny pic.twitter.com/f8dzBx1LOh
— LiKFlix (@LiKFlix) December 15, 2019
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About The Incident
- How Did the Wrongful Imprisonment Happen?
The wrongful imprisonment was caused due to a false identification from facial recognition technology. The clerk involved identified the wrong person, leading to the wrongful jailing.
- How Has This Affected the Community?
This incident has led to a greater outcry against the use of facial recognition technology in public safety. It has raised questions about accuracy and accountability, leading to a demand for more transparency and regulations surrounding the technology and its use.
- What Action Has the New Jersey Attorney General Taken?
The New Jersey Attorney General has launched an investigation into the incident and has released a statement that they are “committed to seeking justice for those affected”.
- What Are the Potential Consequences of This Incident?
The consequences of this incident could be far reaching. It could lead to increased regulations on facial recognition technology and its use, as well as a closer look at potential biases or flaws within the technology itself. In addition, the incident has led to a greater awareness of the potential consequences of wrongful convictions.
In a recent case, a man from New Jersey was wrongfully jailed due to events spurred by facial recognition technology. His lawyer claims foul play as the basis for the wrongful conviction. Families of his victims have been especially vocal about the wrongful imprisonment. The incident has led to scrutiny over the use of facial recognition technology, with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union criticizing its lack of accuracy. The New Jersey Attorney General has opened an investigation into the incident and has released a statement, citing that they are “committed to seeking justice for those affected.” The incident has raised questions about the accuracy of facial recognition technology, as well as its potential consequences.