Innocent Black Man Nijeer Parks Sent to Jail on a False Facial Recognition Match is Seeking Justice.
Updated: May 21
By Zulema Herrera
Thirty-one-year-old New Jersey resident, Nijeer Parks, was falsely accused with a number of charges including assaulting a police officer and shoplifting. New Jersey Law Enforcement relied on facial recognition technology that was inaccurate; a practice criticized for being a tool that disproportionately harms people of color.
Despite Parks being miles away from the location of these crimes, and the lack of evidence by police officers, he faced 11 days in jail along with numerous legal fees. This is not an isolated incident, a similar situation took place in Detroit where two Black men—Robert Williams and Mike Oliver—were also wrongfully arrested for crimes due to inaccurate facial recognition results.
Parks is currently suing the police officers that caused him emotional distress and violated his civil rights, as he stated in an interview with CNN. These cases put pressure on police departments to evaluate the way facial technology is used, which has contributed to the over-policing of Black individuals, one of the many other investigative tools needed to convict a person of a crime.