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Drugged, Then Robbed Using Face Recognition

Updated: Apr 27

Fear and suspicion have spread across Manhattan’s LGBTQ community after three men were charged with murder in connection with a series of fatal drug overdoses at gay bars. Two people have been killed and the incidents have spurred broader conversations about the use of illegal drugs for incapacitating, robbing, and even killing their victims. Justin Barroso, 30, and Robert DeMaio, 34, stand accused of murdering Julio Ramirez, 25-year-old social worker and John Umberger, 33-year-old political consultant; both men were drugged at Hell's Kitchen bars before being robbed using facial recognition methods.

On a recent episode of the Icon City News Commentary, Anye Elite brought up some intriguing concerns regarding the police investigation into the crime. Specifically, he questioned why law enforcement was so quick to dismiss this crime as not being motivated by hate, stating that it seemed entirely possible that both money and sexuality could have played a role in the incident. Elite's skepticism about this determination raises some interesting questions about how law enforcement makes these kinds of judgments, and whether or not they always get it right. Moreover, Elite's admonition to "be careful out there" speaks to the very real concern that incidents like this one could inspire copycats, which is certainly an issue that law enforcement will want to be vigilant about going forward.