The New York City Police Department used facial recognition software to track a black BLM activist who was accused of assaulting a police officer after he was alleged to have used a loudspeaker to yell in the ear of a police officer. The mayor’s office said it would “reassess” the standards used for facial recognition, after criticism of the case that the technology was abused.
Not long ago, the NYPD sent dozens of police officers, some wearing riot gear, to the home of 28 year old activist Derek Ingram. Ingram then broadcast a confrontation live on instagram, during which he repeatedly asked police officers to produce search warrants. They refused to do so. After Pro Ingram protestors poured into the streets, the New York police gave in and Ingram surrendered the next day.
New York police have been criticized for showing excessive force in their pursuit of Ingram and now using facial recognition software to track Ingram. A video of the confrontation on August 7th by freedomnews TV shows police officers examining a document called “facial recognition cues report” outside Ingram’s home, which appears to contain a picture of Ingram on instagram.
New York police confirmed to Gotham that facial recognition technology was used in the investigation. “NYPD uses facial recognition as a limited investigative tool to compare still images in surveillance video with legally owned pools of arrest photos,” a spokesman said. “But it’s not clear whether Ingram’s picture from social media was part of the search. If so, it would constitute a violation of NYPD’s own policy, as it is neither a still image of a surveillance video nor an arrest photograph.
In response to the report, New York City Mayor bill de Blasio told Gotham that his office would re-examine the police’s standards for face recognition, saying that the police must be very cautious and use anything involving facial recognition very limited, and these standards need to be re evaluated. This is what his team is going to do with the NYPD.
The NYPD has been using facial recognition software to identify suspects since 2011, and statistics show that the Department used the software to process 9850 requests in 2019, resulting in 2510 “possible matches.”. However, this figure can be misleading. In a report in February, buzzfeed found that NYPD conducted more than 11000 face recognition searches using technology from the controversial company Clearview AI. But NYPD denied any formal contract with the company.
Editor in charge: Tzh