CONTROVERSY: California’s New Law

A new law in California requires law enforcement agencies to use the preferred name and gender pronouns of alleged criminals when posting their mug shots on social media.

The law is an amendment to existing law regarding social media usage and sharing the likeness of those who are alleged to have committed crimes.

It went into effect at the start of the new year on Monday, after it was approved by Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials last September.

The first section of the amendment reads as if it is addressing the privacy concerns of people who have been arrested or detained.

However, the second section of the law’s text restricts what police agencies can and cannot share online and directs them to respect the gender pronouns and names of those in their custody.

The law reads: “With respect to an individual who has been arrested for any crime, this bill would require a police department or sheriff’s office, upon posting a booking photo on social media, to use the name and pronouns given by the individual arrested.

“The bill would authorize a police department or sheriff’s office to use other legal names or known aliases of an individual in limited specified circumstances.”

In addition to requiring law enforcement agencies to use preferred names and pronouns, the law also now restricts how long some mug shots can remain on social media.

“This bill would also require that a police department or sheriff’s office remove any booking photo shared on social media after 14 days unless specified circumstances exist,” the law says.

Mug shots can only remain active online if the person who was arrested is a fugitive, a potential public safety threat or of a judge orders the image to remain online.

The law is retroactive, meaning any existing mug shots that were posted online by any California law enforcement agency must be removed if they were shared prior to Dec. 17.

The new rules regarding mug shots were met with a volley of mockery and skepticism online:

While California now requires police agencies to share preferred pronouns and names, it adds those agencies “may include other legal names or known aliases.”

via westernjournal

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