Detroit man sues police for wrongfully arresting him based on facial recognition



Illustration by Alex Castro / Th

A man who was falsely accused of shoplifting has sued the Detroit Police Department for arresting him based on an incorrect facial recognition match. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of Robert Williams, whom it calls the first US person wrongfully arrested based on facial recognition.

The Detroit Police Department arrested Williams in 2019 after examining security footage from a shoplifting incident. A detective used facial recognition technology on a grainy image from the video, and the system flagged Williams as a potential match based on a driver’s license photo. But as the lawsuit notes, facial recognition is frequently inaccurate, particularly with Black subjects and a low-quality picture. The department then…

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