Detroit Police Chief James Craig has just fired back at Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib after she told him that only black people should be hired as facial recognition analysts.
Fox News reported that Tlaib made this suggestion on Monday during a tour of the Detroit Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, where the department uses facial recognition technology to locate suspects. As Craig showed Tlaib the software, he explained to her how analysts use it to identify and locate individuals.
“Analysts need to be African-Americans, not people that are not,” Tlaib told him. “It’s true, I think non-African-Americans think African-Americans all look the same!”
Objective reporting for the educated American.
She then backed this up by claiming she’d seen people confuse Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., before alleging that “the error rate among African-Americans, especially women,” was 60 percent.
Watch: Rep. Rashida Tlaib at the Real Time Crime Center with police Chief James Craig discussing facial recognition software: “Analysts need to be African-Americans … .” https://t.co/qrG27El3AZ pic.twitter.com/o8bCwAJEVM
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) October 2, 2019
Afterwards, Craig responded to Tlaib during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“It’s a software. It’s biometrics,” he said. “And, to put race in it … we’re talking about trained professionals. My staff goes through intense training with the FBI, and so they’re not looking at race but it’s measurements. We were appalled when she made this statement.”
“We even put her in the seat of an analyst so she could understand how it works!” Craig continued. “And, she was somewhat resistant. Not really interested. But, it was important for me to invite her in after she made her initial comments. So, at least she could learn something about how we use it and maybe have a great appreciation for it.”
Craig had invited Tlaib to the facility after she tweeted at his department calling facial recognition technology “bulls—.”
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 20, 2019
After the tour, a reporter asked Tlaib, “Are you saying white people are not qualified to–?”
Cutting him off, Tlaib said, “No, I think there’s actually been studies out that it’s hard for, you know, like African-Americans would identify African-Americans, similar, Latino same thing.”
“This is a double standard,” Craig lamented on “Fox & Friends.” “If I had made the exact same comment, they would’ve been calling for my resignation and she would have been leading that charge. That’s a fact.”
“We know [there are] flaws in the technology,” he concluded. “We’ve addressed that through the rigorous system that we have in place. So, we have a modeled approach on how we use this technology very effectively.”