Emanuel Cleaver Calls on DOJ to Investigate Law Enforcement’s Use of Facial Recognition
Some state, federal, and municipal law enforcement agencies currently use facial recognition to identify suspects and expedite investigations. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) has concerns about the technology and has called on the Justice Department to investigate the current use of the software. In a letter to DOJ Civil Rights Division Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore sent on Wednesday, Cleaver emphasizes the growing body of evidence which suggests that facial recognition technology has the potential to disproportionately impact people of color and women. “Technology innovations may enhance existing police practices, but they should also not disrupt basic civil rights protections. For this reason, I implore the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to investigate whether the uses of facial recognition technology – as currently utilized- by law enforcement agencies are in violation of the civil rights protections,” Cleaver wrote. The Congressman has previously raised concerns over facial recognition software in use by law enforcement agencies, including Amazon's Rekognition software; he and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) in May requested that Amazon answer questions about its technology. Read the full letter to the DOJ here.