San Francisco Chief of Police William Scott touted a “groundbreaking new policy” this week of ditching public mug shots for all but imminent threats to public safety.
The decision was announced Wednesday on the San Francisco Police Department’s website and comes amid protests, riots and calls for systemic police reform across the nation.
“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,” Mr. Scott said.
Academics from the University of California Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, in addition to Stanford University, offered guidance to the force prior to its decision.
“By implementing this groundbreaking new policy today, SFPD is taking a stand that walks the walk on implicit bias while affirming a core principle of procedural justice — that those booked on suspicion of a crime are nonetheless presumed innocent of it,” the police chief continued.
Jack Glaser, a professor at the University of California Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and author of the book, offered “kudos” for the decision.
“[They’re] on the leading edge of 21st century policing and which holds the promise of being a national model for other police departments to follow,” the professor, who also authored “Suspect Race — Causes & Consequences of Racial Profiling,” added.
❗️News Release❗️— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) July 1, 2020
SFPD Chief Bill Scott Ends the Release of Most Booking Photos - New Reform Aims to Reduce Bias, Affirm Procedural Justice
View the Full Release ➡️ https://t.co/ntb1DjPIcgpic.twitter.com/4uHy2bsb8b
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