SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, July 1, the San Francisco Police Department’s Chief of Police, Bill Scott, announced that mug shots of a people who have been arrested will not be released to the public in an attempt to cease the perpetuation of racial stereotypes.
Mug shots of a person that poses a threat to the public will still be released by the police department. Approval by the SFPD’s Media Relations Unit will be mandatory for the photos or information of an individual that has been arrested to be released.
“Today’s policy emerges from compelling research suggesting that the widespread publication of police booking photos in the news and on social media creates and illusory correlation for viewers that fosters racial bias and vastly overstates the propensity of black and brown men to engage in criminal behavior,” said Police Chief Scott via Twitter.
According to a news release from the SFPD, Jack Glaser, a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy stated:
“San Francisco’s is the first police department in the nation, to my knowledge, to implement a policy to halt the release of most booking photos in order to avoid the problems they risk creating by fostering implicit bias.”
This policy will be effective starting July 1.