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Dec 10, 2021

NYPD Still Using Controversial DNA Lab for Investigations More Than a Year After City Hall Said Ties Were Cut

The New York City Police Department’s use of a controversial Virginia-based tech company for criminal investigations remains in effect more than a year after City Hall announced the arrangement was terminated.

The privately-owned Parabon NanoLabs uses DNA samples to create “virtual mugshots” of crime suspects using “Snapshot DNA Phenotyping,” with criminal defense advocates questioning its reliability.

The lab is one of two certified by the State Department of Health for investigative genetic genealogy, which can help determine a suspect’s eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, face shape and other clues to their identity.

Mayor de Blasio’s office, in a statement late Wednesday, confirmed the NYPD maintained a relationship with the company despite an announcement in September 2020 that the police would not be working with Parabon and had “no plans to do so.”

“The state has certified only two labs to perform investigative genealogy, and NYPD uses Parabon for this limited purpose,” City Hall said in the new statement.

Details may be found in an article by Rocco Parascandola and Larry Mcshane published in the New York Daily News at https://bit.ly/3GCW2Gt.