The New York Police Department said it used facial recognition software during its investigation of Black Lives Matter activist Derrick Ingram, The Hill reports.
A NYPD spokeswoman told The Hill that “facial recognition software was utilized in accordance with department policy” during the “course of the investigation.”
Ingram reported that his apartment was surrounded by police officers, police dogs and a helicopter earlier this month as part of the probe. He is the founder of “Warriors in the Garden,” which pushes for police reform.
“The NYPD uses facial recognition as a limited investigative tool, comparing a still image from a surveillance video to a pool of lawfully possessed arrest photos,” the department added.
The NYPD has been using the technology since 2011.
“This technology helps bring justice to victims of crimes,” the spokeswoman added. “A facial recognition match is a lead. No one has ever been arrested solely on the basis of a computer match, no matter how compelling.”
The Gothamist first reported the NYPD’s use of facial recognition in its investigation of Ingram. The outlet shared an image from footage of the operation captured earlier this month that showed an officer holding a paper reading at the top “Facial Identification Section Informational Lead Report,” along with a photo it identified of Ingram.
The spokeswoman for the police department said Wednesday the agency was “attempting to make an apprehension for an assault on a police officer” on the day that Ingram’s apartment was surrounded by police in riot gear.
The department said it was “seeking him for an open complaint report” for an alleged assault that occurred during a demonstration in mid-June.
According to the spokeswoman, during the alleged incident, an officer tried to prevent Ingram “from entering a frozen zone and a struggle ensued.”
“The individual placed a handheld megaphone directly against the officer’s ear, activated the megaphone and yelled, causing pain and protracted impairment of hearing. EMS transported the officer to an area hospital for treatment,” the officer said.
During a livestream video earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Ingram denied assaulting anyone.
The department said Ingram turned himself into police custody the day after law enforcement surrounded his home. During the operation the day before, Ingram did not permit police to enter his home because they didn’t have a warrant, according to the newspaper.
Ingram faced second-degree assault charges at the time of his arrest, but the charge was later downgraded to misdemeanor assault.
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