Facial Recognition Technology Led To Mistaken Arrest

Louisiana authorities’ use of facial recognition technology led to the mistaken-identity arrest of Randall Reid on a fugitive warrant, an attorney said in a case that renews attention to racial disparities in the use of the digital tool.

Tommy Calogero, his attorney, said police incorrectly linked Reid to purse thefts in Jefferson Parish and Baton Rouge. Reid was arrested on Nov. 25 and released on Dec. 1.

Randall Reid is black, critics say this technology results in higher misidentification in people of color than in white people.

“They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?’” Reid said. “I have never been to Louisiana a day in my life. Then they told me it was for theft. So not only have I not been to Louisiana, I also don’t steal.”

Calogero said Reid was falsely linked to the June theft of luxury purses from a consignment shop in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb in Jefferson Parish.

A Baton Rouge Police Department detective then adopted the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office’s identification of Reid to secure an arrest warrant alleging he was among three men involved in another luxury purse theft the same week, court records show, according to the newspaper.

A mole and 40 pounds were the differences that caused the Jefferson sheriff to revoke the warrant, said Calogero.

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