California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1475 into law July 23, banning police departments from posting mugshots of non-violent criminals on social media, but Chino and Chino Hills police say the law will not impact their policies. The bill does allow mugshots to be posted if the suspects are public figures, suspected serial killers, anyone suspected of a hate crime and suspects who pose a threat to the community.
“I don’t believe the bill will impact how our department operates as we rarely post booking photos to our social media pages,” Chino Police Chief Wes Simmons said. “When we do post photos of suspects to our social media, they are generally done to inform the public of an arrest of interest. We also intentionally try not to post photos of the suspect’s face unless we believe the posting of the person’s face could solicit the public’s help.”
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said the department only releases booking photos in cases where investigators suspect there are additional victims or if it is a public safety issue.
Suspects can request to have their photos removed if they are not charged with a crime or found not guilty in a court of law.