Should Police Use of Facial Recognition Be Banned?

Should Police Use of Facial Recognition Be Banned?

Back in early June, lawmakers proposed a bill to ban police use of facial recognition software. Prohibiting the use of facial recognition would make it unlawful for authorities to obtain or utilize surveillance data from biometric systems. This bill was introduced after several cases of false arrests were reported across the United States, including a Detroit man by the name of Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who was wrongfully arrested after facial recognition software mistakenly flagged his photo with closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of a shoplifter. 

In addition, large technology companies like Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft, who provide software to law enforcement agencies, have repositioned their stance on facial recognition in support of the dangers it presents. So, should the use of facial recognition technology be banned from police use? The stance you choose to take on this is entirely up to you. Let’s take a deeper look at facial recognition and its uses, costs, and benefits. 

What Is Facial Recognition? 

Facial recognition is a type of computer software engineered to map and analyze facial features It’s capable of identifying people in photographs, videos, or security footage. Based on a set of algorithms, the software picks up on specific facial characteristics, patterns, and measurements to verify a person’s identity. As of now, there are no laws against facial recognition, meaning it’s nearly impossible to protect your data from being stored. 

Likely, the concept of facial recognition isn’t new to you. Many mobile phones and apps use facial recognition for access authorization. Airports and businesses have high-tech software to identify potential threats. The data collected has specific uses depending on who’s obtaining it, so how is it being used when it’s in police hands? 

How Police Use Facial Recognition

Police use facial-recognition software to locate suspicious persons and criminals in order to make the public safer. Collections of mugshots, jail booking records, driver’s license pictures, or passport photos are stored in a national database that can be accessed per request by law enforcement. If there’s a surveillance video or photo of you and police want to verify your identity, they can cross-examine your face with information in the national database. 

Facial recognition is a preferred method of identification because it’s instant, whereas DNA tracing can take days to assemble. However, concerns about privacy and its efficiency are being raised as more and more innocent people are being falsely identified. 

Pros and Cons of Facial Recognition 

Technology has inevitably made life easier. However, there’s no doubt that it’s imperfect. Facial recognition carries certain benefits and costs, with most of the positives pertaining to police. For instance, some of the major advantages of facial recognition include: 


  • Safety and security
  • Faster processing
  • Efficiency in policing
  • No contact 


On the other hand, the disadvantages of facial recognition ignite fear in the public. Some of the biggest drawbacks of facial recognition include: 


  • Invasion of privacy
  • Vulnerability to hackers 
  • Racial bias 
  • Low reliability
  • No regulation 

Wrongfully Arrested? Contact an Experienced Michigan False Arrest Lawyer 

False arrests can be embarrassing and bring unreasonable hardship to you and your family. If you were wrongfully arrested, don’t take it lightly with the hope that the matter will be easily resolved. Consult an experienced Michigan false arrest lawyer who knows the best way to approach your case. You deserve the competency of a legal firm like Michigan Legal Center to ensure your rights are protected. 

Here at Michigan Legal Center, our legal team represents clients in Michigan who are subject to false arrests. When your civil rights are violated, turn to us to demand the monetary compensation you’re rightfully owed. We’ll investigate your case and determine your best course of action moving forward. Request a free case evaluation by calling 248-886-8650 or completing a contact form.

Are There Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force Cases?

Are There Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force Cases?

Recent high-profile cases of police shootings of African Americans have raised widespread concerns and questions about the extent of racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings.

In the past few years, a number of different studies have been done to see if the belief that so many Americans have about a racial disparity were true. While some past studies have indicated there’s not enough data to draw that conclusion, one recent study definitively took the opposite view.

For many, their central assumption is that the racial bias of the individual officers plays a key role, while studies have also indicated that economics can be a major factor as well. Let’s take a closer look at how to answer the question of whether there are racial disparities in police use of force cases.

Are there Racial Disparities in Use of Force Cases?

Police shootings of African-Americans have prompted considerable outrage and led in part to the Black Lives Matter movement and even a presidential task force on policing. So are Black civilians overrepresented in fatal officer-involved shootings, and is this due to racial discrimination by white officers?

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research titled “Does Race Matter for Police Use of Force?” concluded that “identifying causal effects is difficult” because researchers typically only look at altercations between police and civilians that end in use of force, and not cases that didn’t. However, a study of two major cities drew some strong conclusions just the same.

This study used data from more than 2 million 911 calls in those two unnamed cities. They found that:

  • White officers used force 60 percent more often than black officers
  • White officers used gun force twice as often
  • White and black officers use gun force at similar rates in both white and racially mixed neighborhoods
  • White officers were five times more likely to use gun force in predominantly black neighborhoods
  • White officers use force more frequently in minority neighborhoods than minority officers do

Their findings, the researchers concluded, indicate race is clearly a strong indicator of whether police will use force, especially lethal force.

Part of their research focused on those 911 calls, and the way in which officers are assigned to respond to them. Since the officers don’t get to choose which calls to respond to, the study found that a call was more likely to result in force when a white officer is assigned to a minority neighborhood.  

Why Do Police Use Greater Force in Minority Neighborhoods?

Statistics have clearly indicated that in many minority neighborhoods across the nation, there’s a solid lack of faith and trust in the very people assigned to protect them. That includes a 2016 Pew Research Center survey that found that African Americans are less than half as likely to trust police as white residents. While 75 percent of white people said police do an excellent or good job,  just 35 percent of black people responded the same way. 

This has raised concerns about the extent to which police are failing in a key mission: to protect residents in black communities. Aggressive policing methods, which may have been originally intended to target criminals in low-income communities, have led to far too many victims who were not committing crimes being subject to deadly force as well.

Another analysis by Dara Lind on FBI data found that police kill black people at disproportionate rates, with blacks representing 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they’re just 13 percent of the U.S. population.  Some research indicates that if there’s a disparity between how police respond to white and minority neighborhoods, socioeconomic factors like poverty can play a role as well. 

In other words, if poverty and unemployment are high in a particular neighborhood, there may be an assumption by police that the neighborhood will experience higher rates of crime and violence as well, so there’s a need to take tougher policing actions there, whether it’s through traffic stops or more frequent arrests. In turn, the officers may believe it’s generally more dangerous to patrol these neighborhoods, which in their mind justifies an enhanced use of force.

Experienced Michigan Police Misconduct Attorneys Here to Help

Your rights should never be violated. If you’ve been the victim of police misconduct, consult the attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center. We specialize in protecting our clients from all manner of police brutality and misconduct. With more than 20 years of experience and more than $200 million worth of legal cases, we’re here to defend the residents of Michigan.

The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center are happy to answer any questions and offer advice on the necessary steps to receive compensation after experiencing the consequences of police misconduct. Call 1-800-961-8447 for your free consultation.

What Happens If Police Lie to Cover Up Misconduct?

What Happens If Police Lie to Cover Up Misconduct?

It can be frustrating and even scary for someone to face criminal charges for a crime they didn’t commit. To get convinced based on false testimony from police is even scarier. Any defendant surely knows that since law enforcement is assigned to protect and safeguard the community, the police automatically maintain a high degree of respect, and juries often trust them far more readily than a defendant being put on trial for a serious crime.

Police misconduct is nothing new, and there’s even a term for it: The blue wall of silence, or the unspoken code among officers not to report on a colleague’s errors, misconducts, or even criminal behavior. Many officers who get questioned about another officer’s wrongdoing have traditionally claimed ignorance of the situation.

While the blue wall of silence has made it more difficult to substantiate allegations of illegal conduct by law enforcement, it hasn’t been impossible. Today, it’s easier than ever to uncover police misconduct, now that many police departments require officers to carry cam videos to record all interactions with suspects and the public. Let’s take a closer look at how you can fight efforts by police to cover up illegal conduct, including police brutality.

Why do Police Lie About their Conduct?

Instances of police lying about how they conducted a case are well documented. The New York Times published an article that documented the many instances of lies told by police to gain a conviction. In some of those cases, judges or prosecutors concluded that a police officer had given false testimony. 

Their lies varied, but some common ones included:

  • Claiming they saw a gun in a suspect’s hand
  • Claiming they witnessed an arrest when they weren’t actually present
  • Providing false statements about eyewitness testimony

If the natural assumption is an officer would lie because they’re afraid of being caught for wrongdoing, that’s probably not the case. The blue wall of silence has made it difficult to actually find convincing evidence against a fellow officer. More likely, experts say, it’s because the officers want to avoid restrictions against an unconstitutional stop and frisk of a suspect. Their goal after the arrest is to help convict that person, and lying about the circumstances of the arrest is seen as advancing that goal.

But that also means lies by police increase the likelihood that innocent people get convicted. It also means that if solid evidence is discovered to prove that the police officer isn’t credible, that case can be dismissed and a guilty defendant can go free. Either way, a lie to help secure a conviction can backfire badly on the entire system and result in a miscarriage of justice.

How Have Police Cam Videos Changed This?

In May 2019, a Miami-Dade police officer got charged for forcefully arresting a woman, then making false statements about what happened. What got the officer in trouble was a video of the incident that went viral. His police bodycam footage and a cell phone video recorded by the woman’s friend showed the officer pushing the woman against a fence before grabbing her by the neck and pulling her to the ground.

After the videos were released, the officer was arrested and charged with official misconduct, a felony, for making false statements in his official reports. He was also charged with battery.

As more and more people own smartphones with video recording devices, it’s become far easier to record instances of police misconduct. One thing juries and judges understand is that videos don’t lie: they can see with their own eyes exactly what happened, and if it contradicts what the officer reported to his supervisors, the officer has a problem.

More often today, video recordings have exposed a wide variety of police misconduct, including:

  • Obtaining a false confession
  • Intimidation
  • Corruption
  • Racial profiling
  • Making false arrests
  • And brutality

The bottom line is police officers likely choose to lie because they think they can get away with it, or that juries and judges will believe anything they say. That becomes harder if their behavior is caught on video or audiotape. 

Fighting criminal charges is difficult under normal circumstances, but it’s made even worse when the police are willing to lie to convict you. That’s why it’s important to find an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you have a case that relies heavily on police testimony. Criminal defense attorneys know how to cross-examine police officers — and to get to the truth.

Experienced Michigan Police Misconduct Attorneys Here to Help

Your rights should never be violated. If you’ve been the victim of police misconduct, consult the attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center. We specialize in protecting our clients from all manner of police brutality and misconduct. With more than 20 years of experience and more than $200 million worth of legal cases, we’re here to defend the residents of Michigan.

The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center are happy to answer any questions and offer advice on the necessary steps to receive compensation after experiencing the consequences of police misconduct. Call 1-800-961-8447 for your free consultation.

How to Avoid Retaliatory Criminal Charges

How to Avoid Retaliatory Criminal Charges

As a citizen of the United States, you have certain civil rights that you’re privileged to. In many situations, civil rights are violated by law enforcement or other government entities. When this happens, officials might attempt to press retaliatory criminal charges against you. If you have been involved in a situation where your civil rights were violated, understanding retaliatory criminal charges and what you can do to avoid them is essential for your future. 

Understanding Retaliatory Criminal Charges

Retaliatory charges or a retaliatory arrest is when a person is arrested because law enforcement or a government entity does not approve of that person’s actions. Although everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the main difference between a retaliatory arrest and a criminal arrest is that in a retaliatory arrest there’s no probable cause for an arrest.

Common Reasons People Face Retaliatory Criminal Charges

Retaliatory criminal charges are most often pressed when a person (or group of people) are exercising first-amendment rights. Common reasons why law enforcement officials press retaliatory criminal charges include:

The most prominent reason innocent individuals face retaliatory criminal charges is to cover up the fact that law enforcement, or another government entity, made a mistake. If you’re facing criminal charges that you believe are without cause, the best thing you can do to protect your future is to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. 

Protect Yourself From Retaliatory Criminal Charges in Michigan

In a situation where you believe you’re facing unjustified criminal charges, it’s important to do everything in your power not to aggravate the situation. There are a number of actions you can take to protect yourself from the consequences of retaliatory charges including:

  • Remain calm while speaking to law enforcement officials
  • Refrain from making incriminating statements
  • Follow the instructions of law enforcement officials 
  • Make a mental note of witnesses and possible evidence
  • Hire a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible

Being aware of your actions during your arrest will help you to make sound decisions that will aid in proving your innocence in court. Furthermore, the most important thing to remember about retaliatory charges is that you’re innocent until proven guilty. And with the proper legal counsel, you can help to ensure that you will have a viable defense strategy that will stand up in court.

Call Upon Experienced Legal Representation Near You

If you believe your civil rights have been violated, it’s time to obtain trusted legal representation. Christopher Trainor & Associates have been serving the state of Michigan for more than twenty years and are ready to serve you too. We care deeply about our clients and understand that every case is unique. By taking the time to get to know you, we enable ourselves to develop a viable case strategy that stands up in court. As experienced legal professionals, we’re happy to answer any questions you have and advise you on the next steps you need to take.  Call 1-800-961-8477 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.

Know When Your Legal Rights Have Been Violated

Know When Your Legal Rights Have Been Violated

Sometimes you can be confronted with difficult situations that leave you with questions you don’t know how to answer. That’s when a legal professional needs to step in and provide the answers you’re looking for — and the justice you deserve. So it’s important to speak with the best legal counsel you can find when these unforeseen and daunting situations arise. 

Here are three examples of ways to know if your legal rights have been violated.  

How Do I know If I’m at Fault in an Auto Accident?

The feeling of helplessness in the immediate aftermath of being involved in a vehicular accident can make anyone unsure of whether they’re the victim — or possibly at fault. Couple this with possible injuries that can’t necessarily be seen right away and property damage to the vehicles and this process can become a living nightmare. The way to gain control of this situation is to call a legal professional who can explain your legal rights. Your attorney can help you move forward with getting fair compensation for your injuries and property damage. 

Do I Have Legal Recourse Against Police Brutality?

There can be a fine line between being accused of resisting arrest and simply wanting to know what you’re being accused of once you get detained by a police officer. It also can quickly escalate into a physical altercation resulting in serious injury to one or both parties. This is especially true because police officers are allowed to use “reasonable force” when detaining individuals—and this term is sometimes very loosely defined by the law. You need to be told you’re under arrest and why you’re being arrested, and you’re not required to answer any questions from the police, either at the scene or when you get to the police station. This is when legal counsel needs to get involved and remind the police of your individual rights, especially if it goes too far and severe injuries occur.  

What If I Suspect My Doctor of Medical Malpractice?

Many patients are not even aware that they or their loved ones have been victims of medical malpractice until months or even years down the road once they begin to have new symptoms. That’s why it’s important to seek out legal advice when the first signs that something might have gone wrong are identified. Your attorney will tell you to start gathering all your medical records and to write everything down that you remember occurring or are presently experiencing so they can form a solid case for your defense and get you the compensation you need to live a full life.

Experienced Legal Representation Matters

Auto accidents, police brutality cases, and instances of medical malpractice can all be very complex matters that only a legal professional can handle. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact the experienced attorneys at Christopher Trainer and Associates, who are available to help you pursue your case in a court of law. The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center have helped residents for the last two decades. 

Call 1800-961-8477 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. Christopher Trainor & Associates are happy to answer any questions you have and advise you on the next steps you need to take.  


How a Civil Rights Attorney Can Help After a Wrongful Arrest

How a Civil Rights Attorney Can Help After a Wrongful Arrest

Being falsely accused of a crime is a terrible experience to go through. The reliance on facial recognition technology has produced instances where innocent people have been falsely accused of crimes they didn’t commit. This technology has been shown in some cases to have a racial bias because the technology is less accurate when it comes to identifying minorities. Therefore, the potential risk of being falsely arrested increases each day. Let’s consider the standards of false arrest and how to cope with that situation. 

What Should I Do If I’m Stopped By Police?

If you’re stopped by police, understand that they have the right to detain you and to perform a patdown for weapons or contraband based on reasonable suspicion. This is called a Terry Stop, a term that originates from the U.S. Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio. This standard does require specific facts and relies on undefined suspicion alone. The police are also free to ask anyone for identification at any time.

 Because police are under pressure to demonstrate productivity when it comes to arrests and conviction statistics, lawmakers trust their judgment to focus on actual criminals rather than innocent individuals. Nevertheless, misidentification and other factors can lead to unwanted and unauthorized attention from the police. 

What Does Probable Cause Mean?

The Terry Stop standard of reasonable suspicion is lower than the concept of probable cause. Probable cause is the standard used to arrest someone based on the reasonable belief that they committed a crime. They do not have to commit an actual crime in order to be found in violation of the law.

 There are many inchoate crimes that demonstrate the planning and substantial steps necessary to carry out a criminal act. Probable cause is a very fact-specific question that would view the arresting officer’s actions in comparison to a reasonable person exercising caution. 

What Are My Legal Rights During an Arrest?

When you’re arrested, you have the right to remain silent and to request an attorney. If you don’t have the means to pay for an attorney, the officials must appoint an attorney to represent you. 

Police have a very specific role in our criminal justice system. They can apprehend criminals, stop active crimes, investigate suspicious behavior, and hold suspects in detainment for a 72-hour period before a judge can decide on their release. Therefore, when suspects are arrested without probable cause, the damages are limited to the false arrest and false imprisonment when they’re detained.  

What Happens When Police Overstep Their Bounds

Police officers do sometimes overstep their authority. It’s important to pursue cases like this in a court of law. If you’re the victim of police misconduct, what should you do about it? It’s crucial to gather as much documented evidence as possible because juries today expect hard evidence to be presented to them. 

Bring all of the evidence you possess to an experienced police misconduct attorney. It’s important to consult a legal expert to determine what kind of case you have. They will know how to approach your case moving forward.  

Find an Experienced Lawyer To Help You

Cases against law enforcement agencies are complex and can be difficult to prove, which is why it’s crucial to get the right lawyer. The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center have helped residents for the last two decades present strong police brutality and police misconduct cases.

Call 1800-961-8477 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. Christopher Trainor & Associates are happy to answer any questions you have and advise you on the next steps you need to take to receive compensation after a bad experience with law enforcement.