Mayor Bill de Blasio called for “clear standards” for the NYPD when using facial recognition tech after officers were spotted using information from the department’s unit when trying to arrest a Black Lives Matter protester for an alleged assault on a cop.
“There is a place for facial recognition, but with really clear checks and balances and really limited use,” de Blasio said Monday at a press conference. “I want very, very clear standards going forward, not just for a situation involving protests but in general.”
Turns out, though, the controversial software didn’t even connect cops with 28-year-old suspect Derrick Ingram — rather it was his own social media, according to police sources.
Officers were tasked with tracking down Ingram after he allegedly shouted in an officer’s ear with a battery-powered bullhorn near 47th Street and Broadway around 5 p.m. June 14, temporarily injuring the cop, authorities said.
Multiple police units were tapped in the criminal investigation and were provided with the social media profile for an individual who detectives thought could be their man, sources said.
But when the Facial Identification Section ran Ingram’s photo through the NYPD’s database of mugshots, it came up empty since he’d never been arrested, according to sources.
Department policy allows cops to tap the unit to run through the database during a criminal investigation.
And while the database got no hits, cops were able to follow clues on the social media page to connect Ingram to other online accounts, sources said.
The Post found Ingram’s full name and date of birth on a Facebook page for his fitness business, which is connected to his personal Facebook page that uses the same handle as his Instagram.
The lead sheet was printed out and handed out to cops as they flooded the scene on West 45th Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues Aug. 7 and captured in a news clip by FreedomNewsTV.
A spokeswoman for the NYPD confirmed it used the tech during its investigation, which was first reported by Gothamist.
The heavy police presence dragged on for hours with Ingram refusing to come out and cops unable to enter because they didn’t have a warrant.
The city’s top cop, Dermot Shea, called off the operation after news of the hours-long stalemate made it to lawmakers with the protester livestreaming the event.
Ingram turned himself in the next day and his charges were downgraded to misdemeanor assault.