Black Man Wrongfully Jailed After Facial Recognition Technology Leads To Mistaken-Identity Arrest

Black Man Wrongfully Jailed After Facial Recognition Technology Leads To Mistaken-Identity Arrest

This Black man says he doesn’t steal but was linked to a theft case.

Randall Reid, a 28-year-old Black man, was reportedly jailed in November in DeKalb County, Georgia, after a facial recognition tool led to a mistaken-identity arrest, falsely linking him to the theft of luxury purses in Louisiana.

Sources reported that Louisiana authorities depended on facial recognition technology to identify the suspect in the June thefts of a consignment shop in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb in Jefferson Parish.

According to Reid’s attorney, Tommy Calogero, the authorities made an error in their investigation, using the tool, which critics believe results in a higher misidentification rate of people of color than their white counterparts.

“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.”

Daily Mail reported that the thieves stole $10,000 worth of luxury Chanel and Louis Vuitton purses within three days.

Reportedly, a Baton Rouge Police Department detective erroneously linked Reid to another group theft the same week.

Calogero confirmed differences between his client and the actual thief in the surveillance videos, pointing out a mole on Reid’s face and the 40-pound weight difference between the two subjects. These observations prompted the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to revoke its warrant.

“I think they realized they went out on a limb making an arrest based on a face,” Calogero said.

Reid was arrested on Nov. 25 and released on Dec. 1 after authorities acknowledged their mistake in the case.

Following Reid’s case, attention has been brought to using facial recognition tools in Louisiana and other areas. Officers are to use the tool only as a last resort and with approval from department officials.