Pittsburgh police officers accessed the facial recognition technology Clearview AI over the course of a year, including during Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The use of the technology violated police policy and, in some later cases, broke city law.
Tuesday marks the end of Pittsburgh’s contentious mayoral race in which incumbent Bill Peduto and leading challenger state Rep. Ed Gainey raised more than $1.2 million combined in campaign funds since Jan. 1. The financial records of their campaigns show markedly different strategies and donor bases. While Peduto holds a major financial advantage, raising far more money and pulling in tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-state contributions, Gainey leads in small donations and has more evenly dispersed support across the city. PublicSource analyzed each candidate’s donations.
An Allegheny County analysis of overdose deaths between 2015 and 2016 showed that almost one in every five people who died of an overdose had been released from jail at some point in the previous year. About half of that group died within 90 days of being released and a quarter died within 30 days of leaving the jail. Advocates say the county should provide medication-assisted drug treatment.
Meet Ali R. Abdullah as he explains the significance of being an African-American Muslim in the Pittsburgh region and what you should know about Pittsburgh’s role in Islamic history in the United States. For a deeper look into what Ali uncovered about his own family’s connection to religious history in the area, check out the story by PublicSource faith and religion reporter Chris Hedlin: “Pittsburgh was once a Black Muslim refuge.”
Jourdan: Hello, everyone, welcome back. It's me, your host, Jourdan Hicks, community correspondent for PublicSource. Welcome back to another episode of From the Source. Now, this week, we have yet another interesting Pittsburgher who you should meet and someone who you could learn a little something from to expand your worldview of our area and the people who bring our region to life.
The Pittsburgh police bureau is investigating contact between police staff and Clearview AI following inquiries by PublicSource about the bureau’s involvement with the facial recognition company.
According to a recent story from Buzzfeed News, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police made between 101 and 500 searches on Clearview between 2018 and February 2020. Using data provided by a confidential source, along with public records and interviews, Buzzfeed News compiled a list of over 1,800 publicly funded agencies across the country that used Clearview, including 63 in Pennsylvania. Cara Cruz, a spokesperson for the Pittsburgh police, confirmed to PublicSource that members of the bureau received emails from Clearview and said the bureau is still investigating the extent of correspondence between Clearview and police staff. Any correspondence between Clearview and bureau staff occurred without the approval or knowledge of police command staff, Cruz wrote in an email to PublicSource, adding that the bureau has not and does not approve of the use of private facial recognition technologies. The bureau has a policy prohibiting its use.
In this episode, you’ll hear Dena Stanley, activist and executive director of TransYOUniting PGH, on the emotional and mental labor it takes to defend equity and the protection of human rights for the Black and trans community. We discuss how protests inform community organizing, how she feels about her “radical” reputation and the vulnerabilities of being a visible public defender of human rights in Allegheny County. TRANSCRIPT
Jourdan: Representative John Lewis' philosophy on activism with simple. If you see something that's not fair, that ain't right, say something, do something, get in some trouble over it, get in good trouble over it in Allegheny County. Dena Stanley is doing all three of those things and more in defense of your human rights.
Dena: I just go, I was I was put here for a reason.
A change to an obscure boundary that may benefit the Penguins’ Hill District development hopes crossed procedural lines with important assists from the United Steelworkers union and others, but not from a neighborhood group that fears a resulting loss in federal funds.
The absence of counseling and reliance on medication is a common occurrence in facilities like ACJ, where many incarcerated people would benefit from therapy, but problems like high population turnover, understaffing and lack of funding make delivering care complicated.