Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy, who has been at the center of the debate over the use of Amazon technology by law enforcement, has weighed in on the culture of policing in the wake of the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, Ky.

In a six-tweet thread, Jassy said the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was killed by police in her home on March 13, can’t be let go “with no accountability.” Jassy said defunding police is not the answer and that police need to move from an authoritarian to guardian mindset.

He was reacting to news on Wednesday in which a grand jury neglected to charge any of the officers involved with killing Taylor. One officer was indicted for endangering Taylor’s neighbors by recklessly firing his gun during the raid on her apartment, The New York Times reported.

The decision sparked a new round of nationwide protests on Wednesday night, and Jassy’s reaction on Thursday:

1/6 Can’t let Breonna Taylor death go with no accountability. We still don’t get it in the US. If you don’t hold police depts accountable for murdering black people, we will never have justice and change, or be the country we aspire (and claim) to be.

2/6 Being a police officer is a dangerous and thankless job. But, it doesn’t make you above the law or ramifications if you make a mistake and erroneously take somebody’s life. Nobody can be above the law. Our Democracy doesn’t work otherwise.

3/6 Defunding the police isn’t the answer, imo. Instead, we need culture change in many police depts. Need to move from being authoritarians to guardians.

4/6 With a guardian mindset, we don’t barge into somebody’s home to investigate drug possession and shoot down two people b/c somebody is surprised and shoots at you.

5/6 Guardians of people seek to cool things down in that situation, not escalate further by shooting everything up. They pull back + talk with “suspects” (while still surrounding house). There was no hostage or imminent threat that couldn’t tolerate backing off + talking through.

6/6 Think if this “suspect” were a white celebrity that they would have come in shooting things up because that person was surprised and shot at them? They would have been more careful. We have to prioritize *all* human lives over investigations. Black lives indeed matter.

This summer, Amazon imposed a one-year ban on police use of its cloud-based facial recognition technology, called Rekognition, as protests over police brutality surged across the country.

Studies have shown that facial recognition software misidentifies women and people of color more frequently than white men, leading to concerns that the technology will disproportionately impact communities that are already over-surveilled. Amazon disputed the findings of those reports, but a federal study published in December added weight to the concerns of civil rights groups.

Speaking at the June 2019 Code Conference, Jassy said at the time that he was open to federal regulation regarding use of the controversial technology.

Amazon lists facial recognition under its “Our Positions” webpage and says it has proposed guidelines “for effective regulatory frameworks and guardrails that protect individual civil rights and ensures that governments are transparent in their application of the technology.”

Amazon recently spent $24,000 to lobby against a groundbreaking ban in Portland, Ore., prohibiting use of facial recognition in privately-owned places.

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Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2020/breonna-taylor-case-sparks-amazon-web-services-ceo-tweet-need-police-culture-change/

News – Breonna Taylor case sparks Amazon Web Services CEO to call for police ‘culture change’