San Francisco police to stop releasing mug shots to avoid perpetuating racial bias

San Francisco police say they will stop making public the mugshots of people who have been arrested unless they pose a threat to the public in an effort to stop perpetuating racial stereotypes.


“Police will stop and search blacks at a lower threshold of suspicion in the first place and so, their arrests are more likely to be unsubstantiated,” Jack Glaser, a public policy professor at the University of California Berkeley, told NBC.

Per DailyNews, Chief of Police William Scott says that his department will be discontinuing the practice of releasing mug shots except in cases when the public is in imminent danger, or if the police needs help locating an individual, due to the harm that it can cause.

“This policy emerges from compelling research suggesting that the widespread publication of police booking photos in the news and on social media creates an illusory correlation for viewers that fosters racial bias and vastly overstates the propensity of black and brown men to engage in criminal behavior,” Scott said in a statement.