The Woke Brigade in San Francisco scores yet another victory over The Man, the patriarchy and whoever else we’re supposed to be dunking on these days. The police force in the City by the Bay announced this week that they will no longer be releasing mug shots of people who are arrested to the media and the public. At least in most cases. And why would these pictures of accused criminals be problematic? Because they “perpetuate racial stereotypes,” according to officials responsible for the new policy. Once you finish banging your head against your desk, we’ll move on to a brief summary from the Associated Press.
San Francisco police will stop making public the mug shots of people who have been arrested unless they pose a threat to the public, as part of an effort to stop perpetuating racial stereotypes, the city’s police chief announced Wednesday.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the department will no longer release booking photos of suspects to the media or allow officers to post them online.
The policy takes effect Wednesday.
Booking photos are taken when someone is arrested. They are often made public whether or not the person is prosecuted for the alleged crime, which undermines the presumption of innocence and helps perpetuate stereotypes.
Those of you with a few licks of common sense left over after the barrage of craziness that 2020 has unleashed in the news are probably asking yourself one question right about now. How do mug shots perpetuate racial stereotypes if the police are releasing all of them? Have the SFPD officials been refusing to put out pictures of white suspects? That seems unlikely in the extreme. Are they implying that Black, Hispanic or Asian suspects look more guilty or something? That doesn’t make sense either.
The only other choice this seems to leave us with is the possibility that the San Francisco police are arresting a larger number of minority suspects than would be proportionally representative of the general population. But if that’s the case, they need to explain how and why that happens. Either their cops are a bunch of racists who target minorities while giving white people a pass or they’re saying that persons of color are suspected in a disproportionately large number of crimes. Neither answer presents a very good look if they’re really serious about being the most woke police force in the country.
All snark and sarcasm aside, I actually do understand the problematic nature of mug shots showing up in the news. It definitely conveys an impression of a presumption of guilt before a person has been to trial. In some cases, it could potentially even taint a jury pool. If it turns out that the cops brought in the wrong person, that shot will follow the innocent individual around for the rest of their lives. But at the same time, the San Francisco PD is saying they will still release mug shots to the press if the suspect “poses a threat to the public.” But if they do pose such a threat, why are you letting them out on bail?
Whether or not we’re able to answer all of those questions, one things seems certain. Releasing mug shots to the media doesn’t “perpetuate racial stereotypes” unless the police are picking and choosing which pictures to release based on the suspects’ race. This is just more reactionary wokeness coming from the office of Mayor London Breed, which shouldn’t come as any surprise if you’ve been following her time in office.
All of this doesn’t mean that there aren’t real victims coming out of this policy change, however. What I want to know is what impact this decision is going to have on the Twitter feed for Mugshawtys. If you’re not familiar with this source for all the mug shots of the most attractive female criminal suspects, you can read about it here.
— mugshawtys (@mugshawtys) June 25, 2020