Amazon issues one-year pause on police use of facial recognition software

UNTV News   •   June 11, 2020   •   327

Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday (June 10) said it was implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition software, a reversal of its long-time defense of law enforcement’s use of the technology.

The announcement came as activists have been voicing concern that facial recognition could lead to unjust arrests during demonstrations against police brutality, racial injustice and the death of George Floyd.

Critics have questioned the accuracy of the technology, pointing to Amazon’s “Rekognition” service that had struggled to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin in a past study. Amazon has taken issue with that research.

The company, which sells cloud computing technology via its Amazon Web Services division, said in a statement that it has pushed for regulations to ensure the technology was used ethically.

“We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested,” Amazon said. (Reuters)

(Production: Jane Ross)

Chauvin guilty of all 3 charges over Floyd’s death

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted on three charges over the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin was convicted by a United States (US) jury on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin was the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes on May 25, 2020.

Someone took a video that went viral globally. The video sparked a worldwide protest against racism and the use of brutal force by police authorities.

Floyd was apprehended by Chauvin and other police officers on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store in Minneapolis.

Floyd physically resisted and was handcuffed. Chauvin used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Chauvin will remain in police custody to await his sentence. He may face several decades in prison for the charges. AAC (with reports from Klarenz Shaughnessy)

U.S. House of Representatives passes Democratic police reform bill

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a controversial Democratic police reform bill on Thursday (June 25), sending the measure to the Senate despite opposition from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 236-181 roughly along party lines to adopt the legislation, one month to the day after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody sparked weeks of worldwide protests over police brutality, especially against African-Americans.

But the Democratic bill, which mandates concrete changes in law and policy to rein in police misconduct, is unlikely to be passed in its current form in the Republican-led Senate, where Democrats blocked a Republican reform measure on Wednesday. (Reuters)

(Production: Vanessa Johnston)

White House proposals on police reform being finalized, reduced immunity off table

UNTV News   •   June 11, 2020

The White House said on Wednesday (June 10) it is putting the finishing touches on proposals to reform the police in the wake of George Floyd’s killing while in police custody, adding that reducing immunity for cops is a “non-starter.”

Speaking at a White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said administration plans to address protester concerns about police brutality are reaching “final edits,” and said the proposals could be made public in the “coming days.”

Also on Wednesday, President Donald Trump rejected any proposal to rename U.S. military bases that are named for Confederate leaders from the 1860s Civil War, dismissing appeals made in the wake of Floyd’s death.

McEnany said renaming the bases was “an absolute non-starter for the president.” (Reuters)

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

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