Police Use AI To Justify Arresting Innocent Man For Six Days

Police officers jailed an innocent man for six days in DeKalb County, Georgia, excusing the injustice as a misstep caused by their flawed facial recognition technology misidentifying him as a criminal.

The falsely accused man, Randall Reid, is reportedly 40 pounds lighter than the actual suspect and has never been to Louisiana, the state where the alleged crimes took place.


Attorney Tommy Calogero spoke on the false Nov. 25 arrest after the 28-year-old was labeled a purse thief who was on the run following thefts in Jefferson Parish and Baton Rouge.

Over $10,000 worth of luxury Chanel and Louis Vuitton purses were stolen over a period of three days, according to BizPacReview.

“They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?’” Reid said, according to NOLA. “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.”

Reid was let out of jail on Dec. 1 after police acknowledged that the identification claimed by the facial recognition tool was incorrect.

BizPacReview wrote that these actions by authorities will not “stop a lawsuit which is no doubt in the works after the goof.”

Some critics have reportedly argued that the technology has a higher probability of misidentification for black or brown people as compared to white people, per NOLA. Reid himself is black.

An arrest warrant for Reid was issued by a Baton Rouge Police Department detective after the use of facial identification from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, according to court records.

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

The unjust arrest has revived contentious debates on the use of facial recognition tools and their use in jailing suspects throughout the country. Closely tied to the issue of AI recognition is that of data on human DNA, which some have also feared could be used unjustly or in a nefarious manner.

Nola reported that Louisiana’s New Orleans City Council voted in July to empower police use of facial recognition technology following numerous complaints surrounding privacy issues.

Proposed rules that would restrict the use of facial recognition statewide reportedly dropped dead during the 2021 legislative session.