An aggrieved man, Ousmane Bah has filed a lawsuit against Apple and Security Industry Specialists (SIS) at the District Court of Massachusetts, US over false accusations of theft and wrongful criminal proceedings.
The plaintiff, a black male, accuses Apple of wrongfully implicating him in several incidents of shoplifting in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey by an imposter. The thief used Bah’s driver’s permit without a photograph to impersonate him, the thief only matched Bah’s race and not his physique. That is why, Bah is suing Apple and SIS for “negligent, reckless and defamatory” investigative practices.
This action arises out of the Defendants’ negligent, reckless, and defamatory actions that led to Mr. Bah’s arrest and detainment; continual malicious prosecution; deprivation of his civil rights; injuries to his reputation and character; and significant emotional distress. The events at issue occurred in multiple states, including Massachusetts.
After repeatedly being wrongfully arrested and prosecuted, the aggrieved man sues Apple for damages
As per the filed document, the imposter used Bah’s temporary driver’s permit issued in 2018 from New York State which listed his date of birth, height, weight, eye color, and not his photograph. The document has the disclaimer that “THIS TEMPORARY DOCUMENT IS NOT VALID FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES.” Unfortunately, 17-years of Bah (at the time) lost the temporary permit and did not find it after he received a permanent copy with his photograph.
However, when the thief was caught on shop lighting from an Apple Store in Greenwich, Connecticut, in April 2018, the store’s security used the lost temporary driver’s permit to identify him as Bah. The plaintiff claims that the use of any document without a photograph is unreliable and reckless.
Use of nonphotographic identification is an unreliable method of identifying an individual, especially when the identification method being used warns against using it for identification purposes. Reliance solely on such form of identification to accuse an individual of a felony, absent other identifying documentation, would be not only negligent, but also reckless.
The filing further details that based on the lost permit, Apple and SIS identified the individual as Bah, even when the caught thief did not match his height.
The Connecticut thief (hereinafter, the “impostor”) was not Plaintiff Ousmane Bahand, other than being Black, did not resemble him and did not meet the physical description on the permit. As an example, the impostor was 6’1” tall; the permit describes Bah as 5’7,” a difference of half a foot.
In addition, Apple claims to have deleted the video recording of the shoplifting incident which could have easily proven Bah innocent.
Upon information and belief, Apple’s employees and agents, individually and jointly, retained some portion of video evidence of the alleged thief stealing Apple property in Connecticut.
Also upon information and belief, Defendants created a record indicating that the depicted thief was named Ousmane Bah and published this information both to SIS and Apple stores in the Northeast, including Massachusetts, by varying means. Upon information and belief, both Apple and SIS published this information to not only each other but also to third parties.
From that first incident of theft, the chain of negligent investigation began which missed out a lot of red flags that the imposter was using someone else’s ID. Other felonies committed by the imposter were also attributed to Bah and he was flagged as a “Known Shoplifter” to the police and store employees.
And when the same imposter stole merchandise from an Apple Store in Boston, he was identified as Ousmane Bah by Apple facial recognition scanner. As a result, real Bah was arrested and persecuted and the series of unfortunate events did not end there. All the thefts by the imposter from Apple Stores in different States were reported under Bah’s name. And now he wants the company to pay for tainting his reputation, causing stress, and for having a poor investigative system. Read the complete filing here.