Police commissioner arrested at meeting speaks out

By Larry Spruill - Reporter

DETROIT - There’s new fallout after a Detroit police commissioner ended up in handcuffs during a meeting over facial recognition technology. 

“These are dangerous times that we’re living in within the city of Detroit. Yesterday, this happened to me. Tomorrow it can happen to you,” police Commissioner Willie Burton said. 

Those were bold words coming from Burton on Friday morning. Burton hit the 910 AM Superstation airwaves hours after he was arrested Thursday night during a police commissioner meeting.

Local 4 was there as police arrested and escorted Burton out in handcuffs after Board Chair Lisa Carter ruled him out of order several times. 

“The way they carried me out of there was just wrong,” said Burton. 

Burton said he was injured during the chaos.

“You know, I hit my head when they pulled me out of there, of my chair. They just treated me like a criminal,” said Burton. 

This all happened during an intense conversation about the city using facial recognition technology in street cameras. Many feel it crosses a line of privacy, and others feel it could deter crime in a big way. 

During the meeting, Burton voiced his concerns loud and clear. On Friday, he echoed those same concerns on the radio.

“When we install these cameras, if one person becomes misidentified through facial recognition and don’t have the resources or good legal defense, it affects all of us,” said Burton.

Local 4 reached out to Police Chief James Craig about the charges  Burton is facing, his office declined to comment. 

Local 4 also tried to talk to Burton personally, he told Local 4’s Reporter Larry Spruill to reach out to his representative. The spokesperson simply hung up the phone. 

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