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Detroit Police Commission

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners is considering changes to the department’s use of force policy.

This comes after the eruption of nationwide protests sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Detroit has now seen seven straight days of protests.

Police Commissioner Evette Griffie made the motion for the board to implement the following changes to the Detroit Police Department’s policy manual:

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After months of debate and public protest, Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners approved a policy for police use of facial recognition software by an 8-3 vote on Thursday.

The vote came after Detroit Police submitted a revised proposal that addressed some of the concerns that commissioners and activists had with facial recognition.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

As Detroit Police commissioners are scheduled to vote on a policy governing police use of facial recognition technology this week, the ACLU of Michigan and other civil rights groups are urging them to reject it.

The groups also sent a Freedom of Information Act request for records on how Detroit Police have used facial recognition software. The department has used the software to help identify criminal suspects for nearly two years, without a formal oversight policy.

John Seung-Hwan Shin / Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan publicly clarified his stance on police use of facial recognition technology Thursday, as his police chief tried to quell some skepticism from members Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners about the controversial technology.

“The Detroit Police Department has not and will not use facial recognition technology for surveillance,” Duggan said in a statement put out on social media. “No one is watching you on any camera in this city with facial recognition software. I will not support the software ever being used in that way.”

detroit police car
Facebook / Detroit Police Most Wanted Fugitives

Several police commissioners in Detroit are concerned that officers won't be able to get into the city fast enough in the event of an emergency.

That's because about 70 percent of Detroit police officers currently don't live in – or near – the city.

Police commission chair Willie Bell says he's known about the problem since he became a commissioner in 2014. It’s partially due to a 1999 state law that prevents cities from requiring municipal employees to live where they work.