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.
Tlaib dismissed the technology as “bullsh*t” in an Aug. 20 tweet.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 20, 2019
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.
“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.”