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Toronto Police Use Facebook Picture in Online Lineup

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the check-your-privacy-settings dept.

Canada 227

An anonymous reader writes "A 28-year-old woman was recently accused of assault and arrested based on a thumbnail photo from her profile pic on Facebook. Artist Lizz Aston was identified in a lineup after police used a picture from her Facebook profile. From the article: 'In an interview she said, "I told the officer I was at an art opening for a friend, then went home with my boyfriend because he injured his knee. We stayed in for the rest of the night and I did research on the computer for an art installation I was working on. The officer didn't care ... I don't think the police looked into it further." Aston said, the officer "read me my rights. I was searched, finger printed and processed."'"

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mistake #1 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579917)

You talked to the police officer.

Mistake #0 (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39579995)

You put your pics online

Mistake #0.5 (0)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580023)

You either friended a pig or accepted the default - ah who am I kidding. See mistake #0.

Re:Mistake #0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580025)

I thought mistake #0 was that she didn't check in with foursquare!

Foursquare mayors ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580145)

I thought mistake #0 was that she didn't check in with foursquare!

Foursquare mayors do not receive "professional courtesy" from the police. She would still have been arrested. :-)

Re:Mistake #0 (2, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580395)

Mistake -1: you have more than 0 social media accounts.

Re:Mistake #-1 (1, Insightful)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580503)

you used facebook.

Re:mistake #1 (5, Funny)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580077)

Why mistake? Yesterday she was an unknown artist. Today she got her name on Slashdot.

Re:mistake #1 (5, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580789)

Why mistake? Yesterday she was an unknown artist. Today she got her name on Slashdot.

...the hub of taste-makers and cognoscenti of the art world.

Re:mistake #1 (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580863)

Yeah, just imagine the flavors of wine that could be mashed out with our feet.

Re:mistake #1 (4, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39581047)

Oh great, now you had to go and make it erotic.

Re:mistake #1 (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580347)

Bears repeating: never talk to the police. They are not your friend, and they are not there to help you. They are there to close out a case as quickly as possible. Don't give them any ammunition to close it on you.

Re:mistake #1 (5, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580403)

I dissagree... the police are fine to talk to when you go to talk to them about something... a basic (but not legally binding) opinion/clarification of a specific criminal law, a break in in your home, a stalker, reporting unsafe drivers, a lost purse you found on a sidewalk (all things I've done... including #5 yesterday)... it's when they come knocking at your door and you are in their sights you alas have to be extra careful due to the whole "Anything you say can and will be used against you" bit.

Re:mistake #1 (4, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580515)

The trouble is that this attitude perpetuates the us-versus-them state of affairs that has been growing. If we want to get back to having police serve and protect then we have to stop treating police as a whole as the enemy and instead single out the bad actors. If people just have a knee jerk reaction that all police are self serving and say so loudly at every opportunity, then the police will become more insular, more resentful of the general public, and the problems will exacerbate. There's nothing like telling the young idealistic police officer new to the job that he's an asshole; it's a great way to make friends.

Re:mistake #1 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580655)

If we want to get back to having police serve and protect then we have to stop treating police as a whole as the enemy and instead single out the bad actors.

Daaaw, are the cute cuddwy powice occifers treated badly?

"Suck it up, princess," is the only appropriate response. Their salaries are paid on the public dime and they're ceded ridiculous powers over fellow citizens. How people are 'treating' them doesn't enter into the duty and responsibilities they have by virtue of the authority they've been granted.

Now, if you want to change things - stop electing the same shitballs to office at the local and state levels. It's that easy. Remember kids, the police have no Constitutional responsibility to serve and protect* - pay attention to your local and state officials and take them to task.

(* The Supreme Court ruled to that effect. This is somehow shocking to some people, despite the obviousness of the statement - police departments aren't Federal entities.)

Re:mistake #1 (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580703)

If we want to get back to having police serve and protect

The police do serve and protect. Only you are under the misguided assumption that it's YOU they serve and protect. No, the police exist to serve and protect government, and they are one of the fingers on the hand of power that said government will use to crush anyone and everyone that poses an inconvenience. The world has ALWAYS been this way. To government you, the individual, have absolutely no value. You only exist to fill statistics, fill government coffers, absorb enemy ammunition, shoot a rifle or fill a grave. You don't believe me? Put government in a tight situation in a natural disaster or losing a war, and you will see just how quickly you will be stripped of all your worldly posessions and sent to the front (to protect the government), or shot on the spot. Your purpose is to do what you are told. And once in a while you will be used and made an example of, criminal, not because government cares about your victims, but because government needs people to BELIEVE that they care.

Of course not everyone can see this. Most will think it's too cynical a view, and they would rather believe in that ideal paternal figure that exists to comfort and care about its people. But where have we seen THAT before? People are always looking for a return the comfort of youth when mommy and daddy took care of all the problems, so they believe in gods and governments and all sorts of comfortable illusions. Reality is different.

Comes from 3 ways (0)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580713)

You have a fair point. However, the police is being paid by the public and show no initiative as an organization to act this way as well. That's two ways it has to come from. The third is the government that is chosen and paid for by the corporatio^Wpublic. They don't show any initiative to change the current status quo as well. Until then, it's best to assume that talking to the police makes you a criminal, whether you committed a crime or not. Maybe we should start thinking about a different way to fund government and police. That could be the only solution to this in the long run.

They don't serve and protect (4, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580769)

The courts have ruled several times that the police are under no obligation to protect you from anyone.

In a few months that young idealistic officer will be tasing the elderly/children and lying through his teeth while under oath in court.

There are no good police until there are no bad police. End of story.

Re:They don't serve and protect (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580811)

While that may be generally true in the United States it is not in Canada, insofar as police liability in concerned. There was a precedent setting case in Toronto where the police were found liable for not alerting residents of a neighborhood that a serial rapist was frequenting their area.

Re:They don't serve and protect (2)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580911)

And just what did that "liability" consist of? What punishments were imposed upon individual police officers?

Re:mistake #1 (0)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580861)

Wow, I can't believe that attitude, and can't believe it got modded insightful.

Re:mistake #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580919)

you're right, its a bit too obvious to consider insight.

Re:mistake #1 (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580943)

Kind of like level 1 and 2 tech support

Re:mistake #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580653)

Mistake #0: You use Facebook.

Re:mistake #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580673)

You talked to the police officer.

Not talking to the police officer would hardly have stopped him charging her, would it? It would not have saved her the expense having to clear her name in court.

True, it is unwise to agree to a police interview when you don't have to (unless they give you immunity), and it is all too easy to provide police with potentially damaging evidence even when you are think you are giving exculpatory evidence. Therefore it is a good general principle (where you are a potential defendant) not to talk to the police. BUT, this is not a case where such talk led to problems, and in this case talking was no mistake (merely ineffective).

Given the scant evidence the police had, they really should have checked her story out before charging.

Re:mistake #1 (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580733)

this is not a case where such talk led to problems

We don't know that. She went in and was 'interviewed.'

Myspace (5, Funny)

smc170 (2609895) | more than 2 years ago | (#39579923)

Use Myspace! You could throw someone off a bridge and nobody would ever look there!

Re:Myspace (4, Funny)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580411)

MySpace is the first place I would to find someone who has thrown people off bridges.

I wish they would invent synthohol. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579929)

These bloody hangovers are starting to get irritating. Why are we focusing our technological efforts on useless things?

Re:I wish they would invent synthohol. (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580483)

Why? Unless you're a borg or non-human and lack the enzyme that breaks down sythoholic drinks correctly you won't get drunk. If by some feat you are something that lacks that enzyme then you might as well drink the real stuff, because it'll have the same effect on you. Yeah, you get a small buzz and no hangover, but you can get the same thing by just drinking a couple of beers and stopping.

So what? (1, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39579939)

You make information public, it will be used publicly. Why shouldn't they have used a profile picture?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579967)

You're missing the point of the article. She claims she wasn't in the bar that night.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580095)

You're missing the point of the article. She claims she wasn't in the bar that night.

No, that's the point of the summary. The article makes things less clear. In the article a victim identifies her using a photo. The accused shows the cops some text messages to suggest she was somewhere else. Given these unequal pieces of evidence, informing a person in such a situation that they are a suspect, reading them their rights and fingerprinting them seems a pretty normal thing for police to do. People get arrested and processed when they are mere suspects. The fact that the photo came from facebook isn't really relevant.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580135)

In the article a victim identifies her using a photo

No, in the article, a victim identifies her using a thumbnail of a photo. Was the thumbnail cropped, or was it resized into a blurry mess like every other thumbnail?

Re:So what? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580277)

A thumbnail of a photo is still a photo, just a photo smaller than the original.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580341)

A thumbnail of a photo is still a photo, just a photo smaller than the original.

Was it smaller because it was cropped, or was it smaller because it was shrunk until details were no longer discernable?

Re:So what? (4, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 2 years ago | (#39579989)

You didn't read the article. She was arrested SOLELY based on a person's identification of her Facebook picture, completely out of context. She was not present at the alleged altercation, and had a solid alibi. They proceeded anyways.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580067)

I think you're missing the point.

The headline's trying to beat-up the Facebook connection, to tie into the anti-Facebook zeitgeist that pervades Slashdot. The actual story is that police didn't actually investigate thoroughly, and ignored all other evidence. That would have been a problem even if they'd used, say, a photo from a school yearbook, or from a publicity shot from her art exhibition.

In short, the summary's trying to turn the story into a "OH NOES! Facebook is the end of privacy!" when really it's a "OH NOES! Police are sloppy and lazy" story.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580155)

"Police are sloppy and lazy" is not a story, or news of any kind. I respect police officers in general because I know they have a shitty job where they see the worst of everyone, all the time-- but I also know when invesitgating a crime they will always look for the easiest explanation that requires the least amount of paperwork, and preferably does not require them to get out of a squad car.

Oh, and... don't ever talk to cops. They sent this person an email and she voluntarily went down to the station to "help" with the investigation? Silly rabbit. The only way you'll get me down to the station is if I'm served a warrant, or bailing a buddy out of jail.

Re:So what? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580379)

Yep if she had a lawyer present when they initial questioned her with regards to the crime in question she wouldn't of been arrested. They wanted to do a 'peace bond' which means they wanted her to get worried and nervous and cave. It didn't matter if she did it or not, so long as they could show a 'case closed' and solve on their records. It is all a numbers and percentage game for them.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580519)

Well maybe if cops wouldn't be so "sloppy and lazy" then they wouldn't see just the worst of everyone and more of the public would respect them instead of treating them with fear and contempt.
They cop in this story arrested the wrong person and didn't even consider the possibility that that he was wrong. He made a mistake that caused a person grief, anguish, frustration, and not to mention a fair chunk of coin to get her name cleared, which didn't even happen until the media got involved. For that mistake the cop will not get reprimanded but will probably get a promotion for 'taking action' or 'showing initiative' or some stupid reason like that. If an ordinary Joe screwed up as much at his job he'd be fired on the spot.

Re:So what? (2)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580979)

See the worst of everyone all the time? I'm pretty sure the soldiers in Afghanistan & Iraq have it much worse and they can't get away with the bullshit that cops do on a regular basis.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580581)

Yes, the actual story is that the police didn't do their jobs, but that's certainly not anything new and it's certainly not the only story.

Another underlying story here is that given a big enough sample size, it's highly probable to find someone who's going to be a doppelgänger of the person you're looking for. This goes for a search on looks, partial fingerprints, or even partial dna.

Historically, this hasn't been much of a problem, but as technology advances -- getting larger and larger samples sizes of data is becoming easier and easier even for the average police man, so this kind of problem is only going to grow and grow as time goes on.

Re:So what? (0)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580957)

Yes, the actual story is that the police didn't do their jobs, but that's certainly not anything new and it's certainly not the only story.

Well in this case they actually followed up on a complaint and arrested who they thought might be the accused based on a positive id of a witness (although apparently incorrect).

Contrast that to the police in Florida where a guy shoots an unarmed person for simply walking down the street and don't even bother trying to arrest the guy responsible when it is clearly a murder. I'd rather action that is a mistake rather than complete inaction and incompetence.

Re:So what? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580603)

Well, it's both, right? The cops can't use the photos if they're in an album on your bookshelf. Or if they're displayed privately.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39581025)

Well to be fair, if I don't have a Facebook account, that certainly won't help the police now will it.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580075)

And WTF did you think would happen if police can match any picture with any description? Yeah, much easier to arrest someone. And in a society that presumes that someone must be guilty (or at least involved) if they are arrested, well, there you go.

Re:So what? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580105)

I wasnt there and my boyfriend can back me up is about as solid as unset pudding

Re:So what? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580973)

As are photo lineups.

Re:So what? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580527)

visual identification is pretty strong evidence.

by your logic, as long as i can find a buddy to lie for me, i can commit any crime i want. doesn't matter if anyone sees me or not, as long a my buddy corroborates by alibi.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580917)

Uh, no. Eyewitness IDs are notoriously unreliable.

Its not clear if the police used facebook ... (4, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580051)

Its not clear if the police used facebook. The victim of the assault *may* have used facebook on her own and then went to the police with the photo. From the article:

"When she called an officer told her "there was an altercation at the bar, two girls got in a fight and the girl who was assaulted has pointed you out as being her assaulter through a photo on Facebook.""

Re:So what? (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580643)

I must say, if any authorities tried to identify me by my FB avatar pic, they would be trying to book a trip to Tatooine:

Oo-Tee-Dee!!! [photobucket.com]

"On the INTERNET!" (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39579955)

That's all this story is, really. It's not a Facebook problem, it's a bad police work problem. People have been misidentified from photographs as suspects in a crime, and suffered as a result, since as long as there have been such things -- and police have been refusing to admit any wrongdoing, in this or any other aspect of their work, for at least as long.

Re:"On the INTERNET!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580083)

What's the problem? An assault victim has been identified the suspect by a photograph. Further investigation will include the victim confirming or denying this suspect by direct view. If confirmed, the suspect will get their day in court.

It's assault -- it's a very serious crime. They have to arrest the suspect unless an air-tight alibi is presented. It wasn't, so they did. Case now moves to next step.

This is not "bad police work". This is what they're supposed to do.

Yet another reason (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39579985)

To not use Facebook.

On a side note my friends and I all have a saying "never volunteer information" so Facebook is the ultimate violation of this credo.

Re:Yet another reason (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580617)

To not use Facebook.

No, another reason not to upload your photo to facebook.

If your friends don't know what you look like, are they really your friends?

If someone tries using my facebook photo to identify me as the person who slugged them in a bar, unless the cops are really really stupid they'll arrest the guy for filing a false police report. Let's just say that my photo isn't a good likeness of me.

28 year old woman: "I was at an art opening.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579997)

...but then my boyfriend took an arrow to the knee,"

I don't get what the problem is. (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580035)

Police use photos all the time to get witnesses to ID suspects. What difference does it make if the photo comes from Facebook, a driver's license, a mugshot, or a candid shot taken by a police detective across the street? What does the fact that it happened to come from Facebook have to do with anything at all? It sounds like a routine witness identification. She'll still get a trial and can present her alibi there, and the jury will decide which side is more credible.

Re:I don't get what the problem is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580081)

An innocent person with a solid alibi shouldn't have to go to trial to prove her innocence.

In this case, the real victim is the woman whose rights were violated by the police (and the false accuser).

Re:I don't get what the problem is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580121)

your a moron, the alibi is the dude she is fucking and no one else

Re:I don't get what the problem is. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580187)

I don't know if I would call it a completely solid alibi. The article is light on details, but presumably, the only other person who may be able to corroborate her location at the time of the incident would be her boyfriend, who of course wouldn't have any motive to lie for her. That she was at an art exhibit earlier where many people saw her means nothing if the altercation in which she is accused of taking part occurred later when she claimed to be at home.

She may be guilty, or innocent. I have no clue, but if she was positively identified and police had no other suspects, it's not unlikely for her to be arrested. Perhaps there was other evidence such as a past history between the victim and the accused that lead police to make the arrest rather than just calling her in for questioning and releasing her. We don't have the full details so it's a little silly to start second guessing the actions of the police based on the sparse details from a news report. Considering that the story reeks of link-bait, I'm not surprised at the lack of information. All we really have is a lot of hearsay.

Re:I don't get what the problem is. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580085)

are you retarded?

Re:I don't get what the problem is. (1)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580871)

Exactly, but the summary is shooting for the angle that Facebook has provided new and easier means of obtaining photos, and by extension we can discuss how technology changes our expectations in society (ready: have a flamewar over Facebook).

Of course the attacked girl could have whipped out her mobile phone and taken a photo of the girl who allegedy attacked her then taken that to the police. Perhaps we should have a similar argument about how evil it is to put cameras in mobile phones?

It wasn't a lineup. (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580041)

In a lineup, you get a bunch of people who match the general description given by the witness, including one who you suspect. You then ask the witness to identify the guilty party out of them. You can do it in person or with photos.

In this case, they apparently showed the victim a bunch of pictures of people who had "friended" the bar, got an ID based on that, and failed to investigate further -- just arrested, charged, and let her try to prove her innocence, which she was fortunately able to do.

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580211)

In this case, they apparently showed the victim a bunch of pictures of people who had "friended" the bar ...

Is that what happened? Or did the victim check the friends of the bar on her own and then go to the police saying "this person attacked me"?

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (1)

Ronin Developer (67677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580585)

If this is the case, she may have a possibility for claiming defamation of character against the person who accused her and the police officer who failed to follow up by doing a proper line-up with properly taken images. If she is picked out a second time, it's time to dig deeper, like verify her alibi before arresting her. Of course, procedure in Toronto may be different than in the US.

The biggest problem isn't that the charges were dropped. Rather, she now has to answer affirmatively on a job application that she has been arrested and then explain herself. Worse yet, what if the story hits the papers or online news media? Good luck containing that.

Unless her record is expunged, this will haunt her forever.

Yeah...that sucks and she has to has to fight so hard to get her character back.

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580691)

... what if the story hits the papers or online news media? ...

Like slashdot or the news site that the slashdot article linked to? ;-)

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39581113)

>The biggest problem isn't that the charges were dropped. Rather, she now has to answer affirmatively on a job application that she has been arrested and then explain herself

what job apps ask if you have been arrested? Here in the states, they ask if you have been convicted

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (5, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580267)

In this case, they apparently showed the victim a bunch of pictures of people who had "friended" the bar, got an ID based on that

Please read the article more carefully. It says no such thing. What the article says is " 'I was recently accused of assault and arrested based on a thumbnail photo from my profile pic on Facebook,' she wrote on the very same Facebook page. 'Please let this be an eye opener.' " Nowhere does it say the police were the ones that used Facebook to identify her. It could well have been the victim that did so. Also, it doesn't say anywhere that she friended the bar, as you assert.

Further on, the article says "She said she received an e-mail in January from a Toronto Police officer in 14 Division 'asking me to contact them about an incident that occurred at The Piston (on Bloor St. W., Nov. 19, 2011).' " Now this is just bizarre. Since when did the police e-mail suspects inviting them to come in and be arrested? And who in their right mind would accept such an invitation? I think there must be more to this story than we're seeing.

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580349)

Since when did the police e-mail suspects inviting them to come in and be arrested? And who in their right mind would accept such an invitation?

Stupid criminals and innocent people. It's true there are a lot of the former -- and the cops don't believe in the latter.

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580551)

And who in their right mind would accept such an invitation?

an honest, upstanding citizen interested in helping? crazy, i know.

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580611)

Please read the article more carefully....Also, it doesn't say anywhere that she friended the bar, as you assert.

Ahem...

She described it as "outrageous" that someone could "scroll down the friends list for the bar and point out someone that had brown hair and bangs"

Yaz

Re:It wasn't a lineup. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580505)

Of course it wasn't a lineup. Lineups aren't used in Canada for the purposes of identification, and the SCC(supreme court) ruled that it's illegal to do so. The only proper way is to use a photo for investigation. Using photo's like that, is the proper way. Whether digital or out of a photobook full of random pictures.

prove innocense (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580761)

You don't have to do that, ever. You are innocent, until proven guilty by a court of law. To be proven guilty, someone else must convince a group o gullible people called "jury" that you in fact committed a crime, or if you're lucky, a bored judge that has a case load that will keep them busy for the next 120 years at least, if they have to actually listen to every relevant argument that can be made in those cases. If you feel the urge to refute anything that will be given in evidence against you, best keep that until your day in court, if it ever comes. Never ever do so against a po-po. They aren't judge or jury. They tend to play mind games to get people to think they are, but really, they are not.

facial recognition search (1, Interesting)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580045)

If facial recognition on a dataset is used to find potential matches this seemingly would increase the chances of a false identification being made. After all, some people do look alike, and the more similar they are, the more likely a human witness would get it wrong when presented with those artificially limited choices.

/sit down citizen

Yet another reason to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580071)

Stay off Facebook. And all social media. It can only come back to haunt you.

And never, under any circumstances, talk to the police. It can't help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Police lineups are a sham (5, Informative)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580073)

Mistaken eyewitness identification is one of the leading causes of false arrests and convictions. The average civilian is absolutely terrible with memorizing and correctly identifying the actual guilty suspect.

Even worse is that most police lineups and photo arrays (or photo lineups) are presented as a "multiple choice" test. Where the victim or accuser feels like they must choose someone rather than admit that they don't recognize anyone or are unsure. They'll just pick the closest person that they think fits the person that they saw earlier. And earlier might be hours, days, or even weeks or longer. Academic studies have shown that if you give the average person a lineup of random innocent people that most people will finger one of them for the crime.

And of course we have police that coach someone going into a lineup. "Here we have suspects one, two, three *cough* FOUR, and five. Please identify which suspect you think robbed the convenience store". "Uh....it was person number four".

And lastly, one of my best friends is a cop,and he says as a joke that they put cops into lineups all of the time. Then they bet if the civilian will identify the cop as the shooter or rapist or whatever. I know one department even had a jackpot where if you went into a lineup and got chosen as the criminal you got a free golf club.

Re:Police lineups are a sham (5, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580301)

if you went into a lineup and got chosen as the criminal you got a free golf club.

my department does this, and you're absolutely right about how bad people are at identifying perps. you wouldn't believe how many homicides I had to pull off before I got my goddamn nine iron.

Re:Police lineups are a sham (1)

rayharris (1571543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580351)

You broke the code!

1. Become a cop
2. Shoot someone
3. Get your picture in the line up
4. Get selected
5. Profit

Cause a cop would never shoot someone, right?

Re:Police lineups are a sham (4, Informative)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580501)

To be the fair the one time I was involved in identifying a suspect the police handed me a huge book with a bunch of pictures and to select the two guys I saw. I selected one correctly, and I didn't select the other suspect they had. It was enough how ever to put the one of the pair in the area and they managed to get him to cave on his buddy. I was in no way coached though and the detective was very professional about it.

Re:Police lineups are a sham (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580937)

They'll just pick the closest person that they think fits the person that they saw earlier. And earlier might be hours, days, or even weeks or longer. Academic studies have shown that if you give the average person a lineup of random innocent people that most people will finger one of them for the crime.

And that, kids, is why you don't wear a beard or keep long Jesus hair. Remember, the Son Of God Himself was innocent, but with the way he looked he still got fingered in a lineup and ended up on the cross. Hippies, eh? They never learn!

Law and Order Lawyer Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580103)

But isn't the eye witness ID like the last piece of information that is needed in the arrest process?

I don't think the police looked into it further (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580179)

Of course not. They don't care if they arrest an innocent person. It's up to the defense lawyer to free you from jail, not the police.

How Police Get the Innocent
"In nearly every case, interrogators fed the suspects those details, sometimes even correcting them when they botched a fact. Many of the suspects were mentally impaired or ill, while others were underage or simply caved to police pressure." --- http://www.newser.com/story/100509/how-police-get-the-innocent-to-confess.html [newser.com]

Could be worse.... (3, Funny)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580241)

If you lived in the US apparently you would be strip searched to top off the evening...

She received an Email? (4, Insightful)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580287)

FTFA:

"She said she received an e-mail in January from a Toronto Police officer in 14 Division "asking me to contact them about an incident that occurred at The Piston (on Bloor St. W., Nov. 19, 2011)."

And then she did? WTF! That's the last thing anyone should do.

So...you received an Internet message from someone claiming to be a cop? Step #1: Ignore it. There's no way on god's green earth that anyone should respond to a frickin' electronic message from a cop. Clearly the cops didn't think it was important enough to send a car around to her place. If she ignored it, it probably would have went no where. The only possible first step is contact a lawyer. She believed she'd be cleared because that she is innocent? What?! Is she new? Since when has that ever happened? Cops are interested in closing the file...if your name is in it, or someone else's, it doesn't matter.

DO NOT TALK TO POLICE [youtube.com] , especially on purpose. Talk to your lawyer, have your lawyer talk to police.

Yeah, the police are sooo stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580289)

Because no guilty person would ever make claims of having an unsupported alibi. They should have totally just ignored the witness who identified her as the assailant and let her go. In fact, they should have bought her a pony and some ice cream just for being so friendly and helpful!

What's the problem again? (1, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580329)

She was a suspect, the police arrested her, then let her go. No charges laid yet. Her only alibi was "The guy I sleep with will say I was with him the whole night, we left the art opening early (in time to commit alledged assult) because he hurt his knee, which you'll have to take his word for."

Re:What's the problem again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580427)

She was charged. RTFA

Re:What's the problem again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580785)

Shh, that sounds far too much like common sense for Slashdot these days. Make it sound more like an advertisment.

Talking to the arresting cop. (4, Informative)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580363)

There is no need to talk to the arresting cop, there is nothing he can do. He's got a warrant with your name on it and he has to bring you in for booking. That's really all there is to it and there is nothing that you can do at that point that isn't going to cause you actually pain, and another charge. The cop has no choice. What is he going to do, go back to the detective that got the warrant and say you convinced him you didn't do anything? The judge signed the warrant, you beef is with him now.

Can compressed images be trusted for ID purposes? (2)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580423)

I'm concerned about using digitally compressed images and video for anything serious like trying to positively identify a person involved in a crime. It's claimed that lossy compression schemes only remove unimportant details, but I'm not so sure that's the case. There are also times when removing information can also introduce artifacts.

What happens when the compressor causes a fine identifying scar to disappear? Or worse, maybe a new feature appears as the result of artifacting which matches the feature of someone else?

Images and video are often damning evidence. How do you convince those viewing the images or video that they can't always trust what they're seeing?

I remember once arguing with someone over details that appeared in the digitized images of Obama's birth certificate as a result of artifacting. To someone unfamiliar with distortions introduced by lossy compression, claims that what they're seeing in a image isn't really there sound like complete BS.

Fuck the police. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39580479)

That's right, FUCK the police.

They get it wrong far more often than they get it right, and when they get
it wrong, they are not accountable.

Well, fuck this shit.

I prefer the law of the jungle.

facebook is perfect for this (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580777)

Where else will you find pictures of people doing silly things while intoxicated in bars? Brilliant detective work!

Strip Search Time! (1)

V-similitude (2186590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580853)

She should just be happy she's in Toronto. If she were in the US, it'd be strip search time.

Re:Strip Search Time! (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39581027)

And here's another. Must be the US influence from TV or something. Or maybe just Blame Canada

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFq66qIWajo [youtube.com]

14 Division (1)

Ashenkase (2008188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580907)

I stopped reading after "14 Division".

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