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Pasadena Police Say They Are Not Not Employing Facial Recognition Software at Rallies

Department uses system that only scans mugshots

Published on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | 12:05 pm

The Pasadena Police Department is not using facial recognition software to record faces and identify protesters and activists participating in local rallies, according to a department spokesperson.

“As you are aware, facial recognition software cannot be used in conjunction with officers’ body worn cameras,” said Lt. William Grisafe.  “It is only to be used to assist detectives in the identification of persons who committed a crime.  But since we did not have any “unsolved crimes” related to the protest, there will not be a need to utilize facial recognition software.”

The department does use facial recognition, but not software that scans live faces.

Since late last year, the department has been using a form of facial recognition made by Vigilant Solutions that scans photos of mug shots across the state, according to a department spokesperson. The department also uses Los Angeles County Photo Manager, a county justice resource that just scans mug shots in county databases.

Peaceful protesters have been marching in opposition to police brutality for the past week, after video revealed the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Several demonstrations in Southern California and across the country have turned rowdy, violent and sometimes deadly.

On Friday, a Predator surveillance drone operated by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol diverted from its normal route along the Canadian border to circle the skies over Minneapolis.

Some police departments in Minnesota use Clearview AI,  which mines billions of photos from social media to power its facial recognition tool.

The Pasadena Police Department does not use the software.

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