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Pregnant Black Woman Arrested & Detained Over Facial Recognition Mismatch

Porcha Woodruff is suing the city of Detroit and a police officer for being falsely arrested while eight months pregnant over facial recognition technology.

According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan recently, the 32-year-old Woodruff was getting her children ready for school in mid February when six Detroit police officers showed up to her house, presented her with an arrest warrant for robbery and carjacking.

She was held for 11 hours, questioned about a crime she had no part in and had her iPhone seized. Being charged with the robbery and carjacking, Woodruff was released on $100,000 personal bond. Going straight to the hospital, she was diagnosed with dehydration and given two bags of intravenous fluids.

Detroit’s police department uses a facial recognition vendor called DataWorks Plus according to city documents. The software runs unknown faces against a database of criminal mug shots and the system returns matches ranked by their likelihood of being the same person. Woodruff was matched after a 2015 mugshot of her after being pulled over for driving with an expired license.

Woodruff isn’t the only Black person in Detroit who has had issues with the new facial recognition technology. Robert Williams was mistakenly identified as a suspected shoplifter and sued the police department seeking compensation and restrictions on how the city uses the tool. Meanwhile, Michael Oliver sued the city after losing his job due to a false arrest.

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Link: AP News


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