DPD Chief Craig 'outraged' at Tlaib's blacks-only staffing suggestion

October 03, 2019, 6:55 AM

You knew this was coming, right? 

DPD Chief James Craig shows facial-recognition technology (Photo: Violet Ikonomova)

When Rashida Tlaib suggested that maybe one way to reduce the racial bias of facial-recognition software would be to have only African Americans working as analysts on the project, it was only a matter of time before someone accused her of racism. And that came right on schedule, with Detroit Police Chief James Craig expressing what Fox 2 Detroit calls "outrage" at her suggestion. 

Tlaib said she was only "respectfully disagreeing" with Craig's contention that the technology is fair to all. Facial recognition as a crime-fighting tool has incited debate over whether computer analysis of faces captured on video may carry an inherent bias toward people of color, by making more false IDs. 

Fox reports:

The Detroit News was rolling when Tlaib said analysts who work to identify potential criminals with the software should be African American…not, non-African American.

...FOX 2: "Do you wish you would have said it differently?"

"I'm trying to say it needs to be reflective and if you look at the video I think you can see I'm trying to respectfully disagree," Tlaib said.

Tlaib cited several studies for support on how people of one race identify another.

"The science supports what I'm saying," Tlaib said.

Craig, who supports use of the technology, has repeatedly said the system is backstopped by human analysts, who can further examine identifications made by machines, to check accuracy. He rejected Tlaib's suggestion out of hand, saying, "Let's just simply say it was improper, it wasn't right and we should be talking about other things."

You can watch the exchange between Tlaib and Craig in The Detroit News' video, below.

Read more:  Fox 2 Detroit

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