Technology is a powerful tool, but it can also work in the opposite of one’s favor.
Nola.com reports that Randal Reid, a Georgia native, was wrongfully arrested for a crime due to a faulty facial recognition tool. The 28-year-old was issued a warrant from the Baton Rouge Police Department for the actual thieves’ luxury purse robberies.
The outlet notes that over $10,000 in Chanel and Louis Vuitton purses were stolen in Metairie, LA, in three days.
“They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?‘” Reid said, according to the outlet. “I have never been to Louisiana a day in my life. Then they told me it was for theft. So not only have I not been to Louisiana, I also don’t steal.”
While en route to his mother’s Thanksgiving gathering, Reid was pulled over by police in Dekalb County, GA. Then, he was in jail for nearly a week. Reid feared he would lose his job.
“Not eating, not sleeping. I’m thinking about these charges. Not doing anything because I don’t know what’s really going on the whole time,” he said, the outlet reports. “They didn’t even try to make the right ID.”
According to Tommy Calogero, Reid’s attorney, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) detectives “tacitly” admitted to the false match on their behalf. Additionally, the initial warrant for Reid’s arrest was rescinded.
“I think they realized they went out on a limb making an arrest based on a face,” Calogero said.
The warrant being rescinded came after the differences between Reid and the purse thief, which included a mole on Reid’s face, and their weight and height.
“Police could have checked his height and weight or made an effort to speak to him or asked to walk through his house to look for evidence. He would have complied,” Calogero said, according to the report.
“There are 300 million people in this country. All of us have someone who appears identical to us,” he added.