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:






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:

Facial Privacy Day! Board of Police Commissioners Masquerade Event

Facebook RSVP link:

Nicole Small ( Raw Questionnaire Responses )

How will your name appear on the ballot?

Nicole Small

What do you believe qualifies you to be on the Detroit Charter Commission?

My professional experience with Unions and HR allowed me to find resolutions for opposing parties based on contractual agreements and policies. My community and political advocacy efforts is what fuels my passion for creating and supporting progressive and equitable agendas.

Why do you want to be on the Detroit Charter Commission?

Would you support keeping a Board of Police Commissioners in the revised charter?

Definitely would

Would you support keeping a system whereby the majority of the Police Commissioners are elected?

Other (please specify):
I support electing 9 Commissioners and reducing mayors appointments to 2 appointees

Would you support the election of some of the Commissioners by district?

Definitely would

Would you support the requirement that Commissioners be civilians at the time they are elected?

Definitely would

Check powers or responsibilities you would like Police Commissioners to retain:

Review and approve the departmental budget before its submission to the Mayor.
Receive and resolve, as provided in this chapter, any complaint concerning the operation of the Police Department and forward all allegations of criminality to the appropriate internal or external law enforcement agency for further investigation.
Act as final authority in imposing or reviewing discipline of employees of the department.
Make an annual report to the Mayor, the City Council, and the public of the department’s activities during the previous year, including the handling of crime and complaints, and of future plans.
The Board may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of evidence.
The Board shall also appoint a Chief Investigator and such additional staff of investigators as it deems necessary.
Other (please specify):
Commissioners should review and approve number of officers assigned to each precinct to ensure that areas like downtown arent overly compensated, while neighborhood precincts are understaffed

Do you think it is a conflict of interest for former Detroit Police Officers to serve on the BOPC?

Other (please specify):
I think this can be just as much of a conflict as those elected that use this as opportunity for advancing personal political aspirations

I affirm the above statement.



Help Us Recount The Charter Revision Vote

What You Can Do

The Charter Revision (Detroit Proposal R) was missing from some ballots.

Please share this form so people, who’s ballots were missing the proposal, can fill it in:


We need a deposit of $25 per precinct to fund the recount.  We need this when we file (Probably Friday August 24th).  Pitch in what ever you can.  If we don’t raise enough to file, your contribution will be refunded:


Volunteer by completing this contact form:


Share this with everyone in Detroit if possible.  The more people we reach the better!

Why Recount The Charter Vote?

  • The Detroit Charter Revision Proposal (Proposal R) appeared to be unpopular going into the election.
  • The trend in the results reversed when the vote reporting website went offline election night… and it only “won” by 175 votes.
  • I have spoken to a few people who are willing to go on record that the Charter Revision Proposal WAS NOT ON THEIR BALLOTS.  I am reaching out to larger numbers to see if there are more.
  • One highly respected person was told by poll workers in the 25th precinct (Dickerson voting location) that the Proposal WOULD NOT BE ON THE PRIMARY BALLOT AND WOULD BE ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.
  • Almost 40% of the participating voters did not cast a vote on the proposal… (Was it missing from their ballots?).
  • This costly proposal would leave the revision up to a few people who are relatively unknown and got their paperwork in early.  Most will automatically be on the revision commission.
  • There are people working to take away your right to elect your own police commissioners.  A right you just got through the 2012 Charter.

A Conversation With Bankole Thompson & 3 Commissioners On Civilian Oversight / Charter

Scotty Boman, Founder

Yesterday I had the honor of being a guest on the Bankole Thompson show, “Red Line” on 910 AM Superstation. Police Commissioners Burton and Davis were in the studio, and former Commissioner Crawford called in.

There seems to be a consensus building against revising the Charter. Crawford’s comments add credibility to my assertion that independent civilian oversight would likely be lost in a revision.

Here are links to the FB-Live recordings Thompson made:







DRACO Founder On Bob Ficano Show with Guest Host Willie Burton 1-7-2018

Please Chip In To Protect Civilian Oversight

Scotty Boman was granted permission to post this show by the Station Manager of WADL AM. 910 Superstation, Denise “Dody” Johnson… Thank you! This is the January 7th episode of former Wayne County Sheriff Robert “Bob” Ficano’s show. The guest host is Detroit Police Commissioner Willie E. Burton (Dist. 5). The Show goes from 8AM to 10AM every Sunday on 910 AM in Metro Detroit. Guest were D.R.A.C.O Founder,Scotty Boman (Both Segments) Ray Winans of DLIVE (First Segment) James Holmes Cease Fire (First Segment) Former Assistant Attorney General Dwayne Johnson (Both Segments) Legacy Developement CEO John Parker (Last Segment) The studio is on the grounds of “Broadcast House” in Southfield Michigan.


Don’t Play Dice With The Charter (Be Informed)

Please Chip In To Protect Civilian Oversight

Your vote on August 7th could save civilian oversight.

A NO vote on the Charter Revision will secure your right to elect Police Commissioners.

The Most Important Ballot Item Has Received The Least Attention

You will be asked if the City Charter should be revised. We won’t tell you how to vote, but here are some things you should know …

  • The current charter allows you to elect your police commissioner.
  • If a majority of Detroiters vote in favor of the charter revision, your right to elect a police commissioner could be taken away.
  • The BOPC is not part of the DPD, it provides civilian oversight to the Police Department. A charter revision could end civilian oversight.
  • The nine Charter Revision Commissioners would (if the measure passes) be chosen from the fifteen who have already filed their paperwork.  Their names haven’t even been reasonably publicized, and most of them would automatically end up on the commission.

I feel the people of Detroit should know who the November Charter candidates would be.  Here are their names:

1. Emily Dabish

2. Graham Davis

3. Michael Griffie

4. Taylor HArrell

5. Barissa Holmes

6. Lara A Hughes

7. Quincy Jones

8. Richard Mack

9. Denzel Anton McCampbell

10. Byron Dsderm

11. Tracy Peters

12. Nichole Small

13. JoAnna Underwood

14. Carol Weaver

15. Barbara Anne Wynder

It’s too late for additional candidates to add their names to the ballot.