Democrat says African Americans all look the same to non-African Americans

Democratic Rep. Tlaib (left) and Detroit police chief James Craig


1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. (In this article, 1st and 2nd paragraphs). List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. Why was Rep. Tlaib touring Detroit’s Real Time Crime center?

3. How did the Chief respond to Rep. Tlaib’s accusation? Be specific.

4. a) How did Rep. Tlaib respond to a reporter who asked if she meant white people were not qualified to work in the crime center?
b) When she was then asked whether that means non-whites should be barred from working as crime analysts in mostly white communities, what was her response?
c) What do you think of her responses in a) and b)?

5. Watch the video under “Resources” below. Crime analysts working in the Crime center undergo rigorous training. Chief Craig told CNN affiliate WDIV-TV on Wednesday: “The fact that she made that statement, what does that say to the members of this department, who are analysts, who are trained, who are white? That they, in some way, can’t do their job professionally? That’s insulting.” What do you think of the Chief’s reaction to Rep. Tlaib’s accusations?


Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said there are many misconceptions about facial recognition software, and said people mistakenly think it misidentifies people based on skin color.

“The software doesn’t work on gender or race; it works on facial measurements,” Shaw said. “If you have a good photo, the photo array will come back with people with the same facial makeup, whether they’re male, female, black, white or whatever. It’s all about things like the spacing between the eyes, or where the ears are on the side of your head.

“That’s where the human element comes in,” said Shaw, whose agency has used facial recognition technology for more than 17 years. “If you know you’re looking for a white male, and the system kicks out a white female, or a black male, or whatever, then a technician will flag that. Nobody uses the software on its own.”

Shaw said state police train constantly to guard against bias.

“There’s implicit bias in everything we do,” he said. “You just heard it in (Tlaib’s) comments.” (from The Detroit News article above)

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