SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police will stop releasing 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 policy, which goes into effect immediately, means the department will no longer release booking photos of suspects to the media or allow officers to post them online.
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.
Jack Glaser, a public policy professor at the University of California Berkeley who researches racial stereotyping and whose work Scott consulted, said data shows Black people who are arrested are more likely to have their cases dismissed by prosecutors.