Commissioner Ross: Take People's Mugshots Off Of Facebook

Commissioner Richard Ross, Philadelphia Police Department

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We've just learned that the Philadelphia Police Department is putting mugshots of people charged with crimes - almost exclusively accused of selling drugs - on their Special Operations Facebook page.  Each close-up photograph, tagged with the person's name, age, race, gender, and where they were arrested - is fully public, available for searching and sharing, and available for nasty and ridiculing Facebook comments.

Public shaming of people charged with crimes is an invasion of their privacy, keeps no one safe, and it is not a way that police departments can build trust with the communities they are sworn to protect and defend.  Shaming people charged with crimes on social media technologies puts them and their families at risk of major harassment and injury, both online and off.

Pennsylvania public officials have pushed to keep private the identities of police officers who use their weapons in the line of duty.  This kind of public shaming has no place in the work of keeping our communities safe.

We call now on Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross to immediately remove these mugshots from this page, and to establish a policy to keep mugshots off of social media.

Media Mobilizing Project
Petition by
Phila, Pennsylvania
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Sponsored by
Philadelphia, PA

To: Commissioner Richard Ross, Philadelphia Police Department
From: [Your Name]

The Philadelphia Police Department has been sharing mugshots of defendants in their special operations unit on Facebook. Public shaming of defendants is an invasion of their privacy, keeps no one safe, and it is not a way that police departments can build trust with the communities they are sworn to protect and defend. Shaming defendants on social media technologies puts them and their families at risk of major harassment and injury, both online and off.

Remove mugshots from this Facebook page now - and create and enforce a policy keeping defendants' mugshots off of all your social media.