NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The New Orleans City Council has rejected a crime-fighting tool that NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson says the department needs.

On Wednesday, the council’s Criminal Justice Committee decided not to allow the NOPD to utilize facial recognition software, which would allow police to scrutinize photographs and videos to identify suspects.

Critics of the software told the committee that facial recognition is a type of unconstitutional surveillance.

“We’ve got surveillance on nearly every corner, partnering what we already have access to, pictures on the news and tell us who we’re looking for.”

In the end, the committee agreed with the opposition to facial recognition, saying it could be used illegally to spy on city employees and ordinary citizens.

There has since been no reaction from Superintendent Ferguson, however, Mayor LaToya Cantrell did issue a statement following the council’s decision, saying:

“My administration appreciates the informative and comprehensive plan to address our residents’ public safety concerns provided during today’s City Council Criminal Justice Committee meeting. His presentation was reassuring, knowledgeable and displayed the utmost leadership. Chief Ferguson deserves our unwavering support and trust, and he and the dedicated women and men of the NOPD merit our full measure of respect.”

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