Porsha Woodruff, a pregnant woman, was wrongfully arrested in Detroit for robbery and carjacking. She was handcuffed, taken to a detention center, and questioned for 11 hours. Her iPhone was also seized for evidence. Woodruff, who is a licensed aesthetician and nursing school student, experienced contractions and other physical discomforts during her time in custody. After being released on bail and receiving medical attention for dehydration, the case against her was eventually dismissed. Woodruff’s false arrest occurred due to an automated facial recognition search conducted by the Detroit Police Department. She is the sixth Black individual to be falsely accused as a result of this technology, and the first woman. Critics argue that these cases highlight the weaknesses and dangers of facial recognition technology, particularly for innocent people. Woodruff has filed a lawsuit for wrongful arrest against the city of Detroit. The police chief expressed concern and stated that an investigation is ongoing. The prosecutor’s office considers Woodruff’s arrest warrant to be appropriate based on the facts. Detroit is facing multiple lawsuits for wrongful arrests related to the use of facial recognition technology, leading to calls for improved investigations and an end to the reliance on this technology for lineup identification. Woodruff’s ordeal took a toll on her mental and emotional well-being and traumatized her children. She believes her advanced stage of pregnancy helped convince authorities of her innocence since the suspect was not visibly pregnant.
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