Pregnant Black Woman Falsely Arrested Due To Facial Recognition: Lawsuit

Photo: Getty Images

A Detroit woman has filed a lawsuit against the city and a police detective alleging that she was falsely arrested while eight months pregnant due to facial recognition technology.

Porcha Woodruff said she thought police officers were joking when they showed up at her doorstep in February with an arrest warrant for robbery and carjacking, per the New York Post.

“Are you kidding, carjacking? Do you see that I am eight months pregnant,” Woodruff told an officer at the time.

According to her lawsuit, Woodruff was “implicated as a suspect” from a photo lineup shown to the carjacking victim following an “unreliable facial recognition match."

The victim told police that he met a woman on January 29 who he had sexual intercourse with. The victim and the woman stopped at a gas station where she spoke to several people. They later traveled together to a second location, which was the site of the robbery.

The victim said he was robbed by a man who had spoken with the woman who was accompanying him. His cell phone was returned to the gas station by the woman days later.

Facial recognition was used on a video taken from the gas station of the woman returning the phone. According to the lawsuit, "unreliable" facial recognition technology identified the woman as Woodruff. The victim also picked Woodruff out of a line-up after being shown a photo of her from 2015, the lawsuit states.

The suit further alleges that police had access to a current driver's license photo but declined to show it to the victim.

Woodruff said she was getting her two kids ready for school when she was falsely arrested.

“(Woodruff) was forced to tell her two children, who stood there crying, to go upstairs and wake plaintiff’s fiancé to tell him that ‘Mommy is going to jail,’” the suit states.

The pregnant woman was detained for 11 hours and later had to go to the hospital due to dehydration and stress-related contractions, according to the lawsuit. She was released on a $100,000 bail and her charges were later dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

The suit names the city as well as Detective LaShauntia Oliver, who led Woodruff's case, as defendants. Woodruff's attorney, Ivan Land, said police shouldn't have solely relied on facial recognition technology.

“And if they were to just take a five-minute drive to her home, they would have saw her condition being eight months and they would have known that she was not the individual who committed the crimes of carjacking and robbery,” Land said.

The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content