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Charter Commission Meeting in South-West Detroit
Charter Commission, Detroit Charter, Event, Events, Oversight, Revision

Civilian Oversight CFG Presentation to Charter Commission

Detroit, MI – Today Co-Chairs Eric Blount and Scotty Boman and  presented the current recommendations of the Civilian Oversight Citizen Focus Group (CFG) to the Detroit Charter Revision Commission.

The files they used are uploaded here as is consistent with the group’s commitment to transparency:

Power Point Presentation

Summary of Proposed Changes as of June

Wording Changes Proposed Relative to the Current Charter as of June

Proposed Language of Revised Documents as of June

 

 

DRACO, Event, facial recgnition technology

Facial Recognition Hearing Event

Speak out on facial recognition policy!

Wear masks!

Monday November 4th

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Wayne County Community College District. Eastern Campus
Reginal Training Center Room
5901 Conner St. Detroit, MI 48213

The City Council can support or block the current policy that allows the DPD to use facial recognition technology with legislative action.

This is your chance to let your voices be heard.

At a previous event Councilman Roy McCalister Jr. made it clear that he favored it, and the community showed him they didn’t concur.This is in District 4, so please urge any friends or family from D4 to show up. The more the better, but people from the District vote for their district’s councilman. So it will be in Andre’ Spivey’s interest to pay close attention to his constituents.

Also, word gets back to the at-large council members, if they hear a lot of push back on FRT coming from the district meetings, they best take notice too.

Tell it to the Mayor a the Charter Mandated Meeting

This meeting will be followed by the District 4 Mandated Community Meeting at 7:00 PM… just down the street:

Join Mayor Mike Duggan for a District 4 Chartered Mandated Community Meeting.

Jemison Temple
12530 Mack Ave.
Detroit, MI 48215

The community meeting begins at 7 pm and adjourns promptly at 8:30 pm.

Free parking at the church.

This meeting is part of a series of community meeting as outlined in the 2012 Detroit City Charter.

For more information, please contact Keeley Walker @ (313) 224-3392

DRACO, Open Meetings Act, Oversight, Police Commission

BOPC Doubles Down on Illegal Meetings

The majority of the BOPC voted against Commissioner Burton’s motion to stop breaking the law…

Detroit, MI – The Board of Police Commissioners, as a body, has gone on record as opposing compliance with this law. On August 29th Fifth District Commissioner Willie E. Burton made a motion to comply with the Open Meetings Act by changing the venue to a location where persons would not be required to identify themselves as a condition of entry. The motion was seconded by First District Commissioner Darryl D. Brown. The motion failed with only Seventh District Commissioner William Davis joining Burton and Brown in support of compliance. The remaining commissioners present voted against compliance. They were Chair Sixth District Commissioner Lisa Carter, Co-Chair Commissioner Eva Garza Dewaelsche, Third District Commissioner Shirley A. Burch and Fourth District Commissioner Willie E. Bell. At-large Commissioners Elizabeth Brooks and Annie Holt also voted against compliance. At-large Commissioner Rev. Jim Holley, PhD and Second District Commissioner Evette Griffie were absent at the time of the aforementioned vote.

The following statement was in a News Release that went out on August 7th.

Community Activists To Hold Press Conference On Illegal BOPC Meetings

Detroit, MI – For the past few years most Board of Police Commissioner (BOPC) meetings have been at the Public Safety Headquarters at 1301 Third Street.  In order to attend those meetings, security requires community members to present identification.  Now some of those community members are crying foul.

Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO) Founder Scotty Boman and Michigan National Action Network (NAN) Vice President Lori Parks Will be making comments and answering questions before the meeting of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners which starts at 6:00 PM on Thursday August 8th.  Both Parks and Boman have been repeatedly denied entry to BOPC meetings at the headquarters in spite of asserting their rights under the Michigan Open Meetings Act. The Charter of the City of Detroit requires the Board of Police Commissioners to comply with the Michigan Open Meetings Act.

According to the Michigan Open Meetings Act 267 of 1976. Section 15.263. Sec. 3. (4):

“A person shall not be required as a condition of attendance at a meeting of a public body to register or otherwise provide his or her name or other information or otherwise to fulfill a condition precedent to attendance.”

At their June 27th meeting ACLU Attorney Ralph Simpson informed the Commissioners of this portion of the law during public comments. He said he assumed they were unaware of the law, but from that point forward they should consider themselves notified.

“It is blatantly irrational and absurd for an organization that is charged with the civilian oversight of law enforcement, to brazenly and willfully conspire to commit crimes on a routine basis.”

At their meeting on August 1st Boman informed them that there were significant criminal penalties for their actions and that commissioners wishing to distance themselves from the violations should make motions to end the practice.  The portion cited by Boman read:

“15.272 Violation as misdemeanor; penalty.
Sec. 12. (1) A public official who intentionally violates this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00.
(2) A public official who is convicted of intentionally violating a provision of this act for a second time within the same term shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $2,000.00, or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.”

 

Uncategorized

Position Statement on Facial Recognition Technology

Police Chief Craig and Mayor Duggan have assured the people of Detroit that the Detroit Police Department won’t use facial recognition technology to track Detroiters and visitors in real time.  They have also assured us that there would be strict guidelines for the use of this technology with still images.

While this may seem comforting, we at DRACO retain serious concerns regarding any continued use of this technology by law enforcement.

Credibility is central to any policy statement or promise. The process of establishing a policy on this matter just became an agenda item for the Board of Police Commissioners a few months ago, but the Office of Contracting and Procurement has been looking into the purchase of real-time and still facial recognition systems since 2015.  Systems with this capability were already being deployed in 2017, and the Detroit Police Department apparently withheld details of the facial recognition component of Project Green Light from the BOPC and Green Light partners when it was presented to them and the public.

The significance of this is evident in that some of the strongest supporters of project Green Light are now vocally opposed to facial recognition technology.  Clearly, withholding this information served to enable the broad deployment of a system that would be compatible with the full-spectrum of facial recognition applications without informed oversight.

Policies assuring limitations on use, or the enumeration of extreme exceptions, is inadequate when the capability to do otherwise is ever-present.  Promises of compliance ring disingenuous when past transparency is so lacking.  Add to this that the oversight organization for the DPD has steadfastly exercised gross indifference for clearly stated laws like the Open Meetings Act.

Even a best case scenario, where policies are earnestly complied with, leaves open room for a complete reversal amidst a crisis or a change in leadership.  Furthermore there is the likelihood of abuse by staff member entrusted with this technology.  Such abuse by colleagues was what motivated Edward Snowden to blow the whistle on the NSA, for instance.

But even if all persons are presently serving with the utmost integrity, technology that enables invasions of privacy can easily be turned against the populace when there is a regime change or shift in power.  Just turn to the headlines to see how the relatively free people of Hong Kong now see themselves on the brink of being absorbed into the malevolent surveillance state that is mainland China.

But what about those still images?  The well-documented failure of this software to correctly identify people of color is just as severe with still images as with real-time systems.  This problem has earned the use of facial recognition technology the label “Techno-racism.”  Clearly there is a serious disconnect between some decision makers and members of the community who wonder why a system that chronically misidentifies African Americans is being deployed in a predominantly African American city.

Misidentification can lead to hardship for the innocent.  Chief Craig has assured us that a human being will make the final decision on identification, but there is bound to be a bias in favor of agreeing with the initial impression that could reinforce misidentification in borderline cases.  The counter argument is that these are fixable problems, but the simple fact is that the problem is not fixed, and the DPD should suspend use of facial recognition technology on still images at least until this problem is resolved to the satisfaction of experts and the majority of voters in Detroit.

Therefore, it is the position of DRACO that there be a moratorium on the deployment of facial-recognition-ready hardware and the installment of facial recognition software from DPD computers. Its use should be discontinued for the foreseeable future.

This information was read at a forum at Red Door Digital in Detroit which DRACO supported:

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/those-opposed-to-facial-recognition-technology-bring-fight-to-state-government

https://www.wxyz.com/news/detroit-police-commissioners-to-give-more-details-on-use-of-facial-recognition-technology

https://wdet.org/posts/2019/09/06/88588-activists-call-for-ballot-initiative-on-police-use-of-facial-recognition-tech/#.XXSEYn4F0wI.twitter

 

Uncategorized

July 11th will be Facial Privacy Day!

Celebrate facial privacy in the biggest masquerade party of the Summer!

Protest the proliferation of facial recognition cameras in public places by wearing a mask or a veil in all public places and in your cars.

Note that you must be able to see clearly while driving and that it is illegal to use a mask to commit a crime. Beyond that it is your right secured in the First Amendment.

For Detroiters the peak of the protest will be at the Board of Police Commissioners meeting starting at 6:30 PM at the Durfee Innovation Society, 2470 Collingwood Street, Detroit, MI 48206, USA

Since your face is your ID with this technology, it is illegal for anyone to deny you to
wear the mask at the meeting. The Michigan Open meetings act says, “A person shall not be required as a condition of attendance at a meeting of a public body to register or otherwise provide his or her name or other information or otherwise to fulfill a condition precedent to attendance.” http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-15-263

The Detroit City Charter says, “All meetings shall be held in accordance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act.”

Here’s a little background on this issue and the BOPC failing to provide adequate oversight:
https://www.wxyz.com/news/detroit-police-defend-facial-recognition-technology-amid-criticism

Facial Privacy Day! Board of Police Commissioners Masquerade Event

Facebook RSVP link:
Charter Commission Meeting in South-West Detroit
Charter Commission, Detroit Charter, Event, Events, Oversight, Revision

Citizens Focus Group (CFG) Summit 5:00 PM 06-17-2019

Their will be a Citizens Focus Group (CFG) Summit on Monday, June 17th at 5:00 PM. The Summit will be held at DABO Center 12048 Grand River Detroit, MI. Each leader of a CFG will have 15 minute presentation.

Eric Blount will be there to present the revisions many of you have recommended at our meetings.

One purpose of the Summit will be to determine areas where our suggested revisions overlap, so that we can reconcile any inconsistencies that result from them. Please take careful note of these so we may address these matters at future meetings.

The Meeting Agenda is here.

The Civilian Oversight Summary is here.

The Detailed Recommended Civilian Oversight Revisions are here.

News Conference On The Eve of Jones Trial in 2018
DRACO, Event, Events, Oversight, Police Brutality, Police Commission, Police Community Relations

Civilian Oversight Activists Demand Consequences for Dewayne Jones

NEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Scotty Boman, D.R.A.C.O. Founder
Phone: (313) 247-2052
scottyboman@hotmail.com

Draco.Life

 

April 30th, 2019

Civilian Oversight Activists Demand Consequences for Dewayne Jones

Detroit, MI – Members of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO) are unhappy with how an unarmed woman (referred to in court by the pseudonym “Shelby Smith”)**, was treated by Corporal Dewayne Jones at Detroit Receiving hospital, and have announced a news conference to talk about it on the eve of his sentencing hearing. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault on March 20th. They will be joined by other activists who believe he must serve time for his violent crime.  They are also disturbed by the fact that he remains a police officer in spite of the conviction.

Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (D.R.A.C.O.) founder Scotty Boman will hold a news conference across from the Detroit 36th District Court at 2:00 PM on Tuesday April 30th.  The Court is located at 421 Madison St, Detroit, MI 48226. He will be joined by other activists who believe that Dewayne Jones used excessive force last summer, and that he must face substantial consequences for his crime.

“Last Thursday Chief Craig told me that Jones still has his job.  How is it that the DPD keeps a violent criminal in this position while firing people for non-criminal misconduct?  Members of the community don’t have much faith in the justice system and expect Jones to get off easy. Misdemeanors have low maximum sentences, but he must see the inside of a cell to ensure that he and the community know that there is no preferential treatment for police and that violence will not be tolerated.”

In August 2018 a cell phone video surfaced that captured Detroit Police Corporal Dwayne Jones repeatedly punching a naked, unarmed woman as other officers restrained her (and one tried to pull him off her). Shortly after this Police Chief Craig suspended Jones with pay. On December 3rd 2018 the Wayne County prosecutor’s office arraigned Jones on felony misconduct and misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

On January 15th Thirty Sixth District Court Judge Cylenthia Miller dismissed the felony misconduct in office charge against Detroit Police Corporal Dewayne Jones in connection with the beating. He was found guilty of assault on March 20th and the court scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 1st.

A sentencing for Jones is scheduled for 9:00 AM on Wednesday May 1st in the courtroom (Rm. 339) of Kenneth J. King.  (case #1806106901).

Activists will also be available for comment on Wednesday at 8:30 AM at the same location.

 

* Scotty Boman founded DRACO to educate the public on the roll of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners.

** Previous releases by DRACO referred to the victim by her true name, but since the court is using a different name we are assuming this is at her request and are respecting her wishes.

 

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