One Zero EXCLUSIVE: The NYPD Is Using Sealed Mug Shots in Its Facial Recognition Program
“In November 2018, Claire Mauksch, a lawyer with the public defenders’ organization Bronx Defenders, picked up a felony case that struck her as odd. The previous day, a suspect had been arrested on felony robbery charges for an incident that had taken place two years prior. There was little information in the file to show why her client had been arrested after such a long delay. “In my experience, it’s pretty rare for there to be such a lengthy gap between incident and arrest,” Mauksch said.
At the arraignment, prosecutors for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office told the court that a new NYPD detective had been assigned to the case. Though a facial recognition search using surveillance footage had been conducted two years prior and resulted in zero matches, the new detective decided to run the program again. This time, the program matched surveillance footage to a sealed mug shot of the accused, the prosecutor said in court. But court records reviewed by OneZero indicate the mug shot came from a sealed arrest record.”
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