Woman Sues City For Arresting Her While Pregnant Based On False Facial Recognition

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John Oyewale Contributor
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A woman sued the city of Detroit following her arrest while eight months pregnant based on an alleged false facial recognition match, according to several reports.

Porcha Woodruff, 32, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging wrongful arrest, The New York Times (NYT) reported.

Woodruff was arrested for robbery and carjacking back in February while eight months pregnant and getting her two daughters ready for school, per The NYT. Woodruff, a licensed aesthetician and nursing school student, reportedly asked the officers, “Are you kidding?” given her state of pregnancy.

The carjacking victim had reportedly picked up a woman on the street and had sex with her in a liquor store parking lot. Afterwards, the victim allegedly gave up his car at gunpoint at a gas station to a man who was allegedly waiting to pick up the same woman, The NYT noted.

Facial recognition analysis reportedly matched Woodruff’s face to that of the woman in the video surveillance footage of the alleged carjacking. The carjacking victim also reportedly identified Woodruff from a photo lineup of six black women. Woodruff had been arrested in 2015 for driving with an expired license, according to The NYT. (RELATED: Pentagon, FBI Collaborated On AI, Facial Recognition Tech For Federal Agencies, Documents Show)

After being held for 11 hours and released on a $100,000 personal bond, Woodruff became hospitalized for dehydration, per The NYT. The case was reportedly dismissed in March for insufficient evidence.

The woman involved in the carjacking was not visibly pregnant at the time of the crime, the NYT noted.

Woodruff is the first woman on record to be falsely accused based on an incorrect facial recognition match, the report noted. The city of Detroit reportedly faces two other similar lawsuits.

Woodruff’s lawsuit also alleges false imprisonment and a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights to be protected from unreasonable seizures, per the Washington Post. Woodruff’s lawsuit alleges facial recognition technology has a flawed record, particularly with black people’s identity.

“Facial recognition alone cannot serve as probable cause for arrests,” the lawsuit continues, according to the Washington Post.