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Congressman Cleaver Requests the DOJ Investigate Law Enforcement’s Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Aug 16, 2018
Press Release
A major concern of Cleaver’s is use of inaccurate facial recognition technology may compromise civil rights protections

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the current use of facial recognition software by law enforcement agencies. Some state, federal and municipal law enforcement agencies use facial recognition to identity suspects and expedite investigations. A growing body of evidence suggests that the technology has the potential to disproportionately impact minorities and women – among other concerns.

In a letter to Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Congressman Cleaver wrote;

“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…”

The letter to the DOJ can be found here.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or Heather.Frierson@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.