Blue State Police Dept Posts Suspects With Lego Heads Due To New ID Protection Law

A Southern California police department has been using photoshopped Lego heads as a way of protecting suspect identities for their social media posts due to new state laws.

The Murrieta Police Department’s (MPD) features several Facebook and Instagram posts of suspects with Lego heads. The posts show suspects in images at various scenes where their arrests occurred. The police department’s social media team photoshopped Lego blocks with a variety of facial expressions instead of their faces.

One image posted to the department’s Instagram account shows a suspect kneeling during what appears to be an arrest. The Lego block head photoshopped onto the man has a shocked facial expression while looking at the person standing in front of him.

“Last week officers participated in a game of #HideAndSeek in the area of Madison Avenue and Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Fortunately for the officers, they were able to use GPS to locate the suspect,” the post stated. “Ultimately the suspect was arrested and booked into the #ByrdHouse for grand theft, possession of stolen property, and unlawfully possessing pepper spray due to him being a convicted felon.”

Another image showed two suspects in the back of a police vehicle after being handcuffed by authorities. One of the men is given a Lego head with an angry facial expression; the other has a sad facial expression as a teardrop on one side of the Lego face.

“Recently, officers were dispatched to a report of a shoplifting which had just occurred in the area of Madison Avenue and Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Officers were flagged down and told two males had each stolen a shopping cart full of items #ThatsALotOfStuff and left the store without paying,” the post stated. “A record check of the two males revealed they were both on #Probation for weapon charges and, you guess it, #Theft. A search of the vehicle resulted in all of the stolen items from the store, narcotics, paraphernalia, burglary tools, and methamphetamine. Both males were arrested and booked into the #ByrdHouse for a variety of charges.”

The police department recently posted a lineup of suspects with a Lego head, explaining why the department’s social media needed to protect the identities of those arrested.

A new law for the blue state, Assembly Bill 994 & Penal Code 13665, went into effect on Jan. 1, prohibiting “law enforcement from sharing suspect photos for nonviolent crimes, unless specified circumstances exist,” MPD stated. In addition to no longer allowing the photos, California regulations will require police agencies to remove all suspects’ mugshots from social media after 14 days, unless it is for a special circumstance.

“The Murrieta Police Department prides itself in its transparency with the community, but also honors everyone’s rights & protections as afforded by law; even suspects. In order to share what is happening in Murrieta, we chose to cover the faces of suspects to protect their identity while still aligning with the new law,” MPD stated.