The New York Police Department began photographing the irises of people arrested in Manhattan in 2010; officials said then that the images would help prevent suspects from escaping. But the program drew criticism from criminal defense lawyers and civil liberties experts who expressed concern that it could infringe on individuals’ privacy, especially in cases in which the charges were eventually dropped.
More than a year later, as the program has been extended across the city, opponents have renewed their objections and accused officers of sometimes pressuring people to submit to the photographs — which are supposed to be optional — by keeping those who do not comply in custody longer.
Ms. Wilson’s lawyer, Rebecca Heinegg, said that her client was eventually released without the photograph being taken, but that she was held for about 36 hours, longer than usual.
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