Robert Williams III Rumors
Boston Celtics players: We were disappointed to see that Governor Charlie Baker, in his amendments to the police reform legislation, removed the bill’s proposed regulations of government use of facial recognition technology. Since the tragic and outrageous police killing of George Floyd in May, Boston Celtics players have doubled-down on our commitment to raising public awareness about policing and systemic racism, and advocating for sound changes to law enforcement that improve public safety and strengthen racial justice for everyone.
Boston Celtics players: The stakes could not be higher: Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people in this country. A recent study found that one in 1,000 Black men in the United States will be killed by police. And beyond the killing of civilians, police continue to be a permanent and oppressive fixture in communities of color, resulting in daily harassment and targeting of Black and brown people through unnecessary and disproportionate stops and searches, citations, and arrests.
Boston Celtics players: This bias against Black people and other people of color is baked into the criminal legal system, and it’s perpetuated at every level, including the tools that police departments use. That’s why we were disappointed to see that Governor Charlie Baker, in his amendments to the police reform legislation, removed the bill’s proposed regulations of government use of facial recognition technology. Baker’s rejection is deeply troubling because this technology supercharges racial profiling by police and has resulted in the wrongful arrests of innocent people.
Boston Celtics players: This has real consequences. One false match can lead to an interrogation, arrest, and — especially for Black men — even a deadly police encounter. Earlier this year, Detroit police arrested Robert Williams, a Black man, on his front lawn in front of his wife and two young daughters. He was locked up for nearly 30 hours. His crime? Police used face recognition software and erroneously matched Williams with someone suspected of theft more than a year earlier. The false arrest disrupted his family life, resulted in his unjustified jailing, and violated all norms of reasonable policing. The charges were eventually dropped, but Williams and his family were left traumatized.