Detroit police chief calls Rashida Tlaib racist after her comments on facial recognition tech

Detroit police chief calls Rashida Tlaib racist after her comments on facial recognition tech

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) received backlash after she told Detroit's police chief he should only employ black analysts for the department's facial recognition team because "non-African Americans think African-Americans all look the same."

The Detroit Police Department invited Tlaib to visit the 'Real Time Crime Center', where the department uses facial recognition technology in efforts to “identify criminals involved in violent crimes,” after she described the technology as “bulls---” in August.

This week, Chief James Craig gave Tlaib a tour of the center where he showed her how the software works and how his analysts examine the software’s results before making determinations.

“Analysts need to be African-Americans, not people that are not,” Tlaib said. “It’s true, I think non-African-Americans think African-Americans all look the same!” Craig rejected Tlaib's claims, saying: “I trust people who are trained, regardless of race; regardless of gender. It’s about the training.”

When asked if that would mean African-Americans should not be allowed to identify white people, Tlaib said, “Look it up” and walked away, Reclaim The Net reports.

Chief Craig's response: In an interview with a local broadcaster, Chief Craig said that both black and white staff members were offended by Tlaib's remarks.

“It’s insulting. We have a diverse group of crime analysts, and what she said — that non-whites should not work in that capacity because they think all black people look alike — is a slap in the face to all the men and women in the crime center,” Craig said. “That’s something we train for, and it’s valuable training, but to say people should be barred from working somewhere because of their skin color? That’s racist.”

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