US

Rep. Rashida Tlaib Tells Detroit Police That Only Black Officials Should Work Facial Recognition Technology

REUTERS

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib told Detroit’s police chief that he should only have black officials assessing the city’s facial recognition technology because “non-African-Americans think African-Americans all look the same.”

The congresswoman made the comments while taking a tour of Detroit’s Real Time Crime Center, where she saw live video from cameras that have been posted on traffic lights and around local businesses, the Detroit News reported Monday.

U.S. Congresswoman Tlaib addresses her constituents during a Town Hall style meeting in Inkster

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib addresses her constituents during a Town Hall style meeting in Inkster, Michigan, U.S. Aug. 15, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Tlaib dismissed the technology as “bullsh*t” in an Aug. 20 tweet.

Tlaib’s spokesman attempted to explain the representative’s statement by insisting she meant accuracy is important when black people compose 80% of the city’s population. (RELATED: Rashida Tlaib Calls Former ICE Chief ‘Ruthless And Inhumane’ In Fiery Hearing Exchange)

Tlaib was a contentious guest throughout the tour, according to the News, with the congresswoman and member of the House Democrats “squad” arguing with the police chief about how the facial recognition technology is used, with her contending that it misidentifies black people more than white people.

“Analysts need to be African-Americans, not people that are not,” Tlaib told Craig. “I think non-African-Americans think African-Americans all look the same.”

She claimed she has seen the same sort of thing occurring on the floor of the House of Representatives with “people calling Elijah Cummings ‘John Lewis,’ and John Lewis ‘Elijah Cummings,’ and they’re totally different people,” Tlaib said, referring to two of her Democratic colleagues. “I see it all the time, and I love them because they go along with it.” (RELATED: Rashida Tlaib Wrote Column For Nation Of Islam Publication)

Craig told her: “I trust people who are trained, regardless of race; regardless of gender. It’s about the training.”

“I know,” Tlaib responded. “But it does make a huge difference with the analysts.”

Tlaib spokesman Denzel McCampbell on Tuesday offered a study by the Memorial University Of Newfound as proof that facial recognition technology is best used by people of the same race as those they are assessing.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib D-MI joins activists asking for impeachment of US President Trump as they gather on Capitol Hill on September 23, 2019 in Washington,DC. - The demonstration and press event was to demand the House of Representatives to take urgent and immediate action towards impeaching US President Donald Trump. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib D-MI joins activists asking for impeachment of US President Trump as they gather on Capitol Hill on Sept. 23, 2019 in Washington,DC.  Photo by: BRENDAN MIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

“The studies [are] related to cross-race effect or other-race effect,” McCampbell said in an email to the News. “This has shown that individuals are less accurate when identifying people from a race other than their own.”

Tlaib recently led a group of opponents to President Donald Trump in a chant of “Impeach the Motherfuc*er.”