California police department using Lego heads to replace faces of suspects

A California police department is using a creative solution to hide the identities of some suspects by covering their faces with Lego heads in booking photos and mugshots.

The Murrieta Police Department explained on Monday that the placement of Lego faces is an effort to comply with a state law that prohibits law enforcement agencies from sharing images of suspects arrested for nonviolent crimes on social media.

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A lineup is shown with Lego heads covering the suspects’ faces. The Murrieta Police Department has found a creative way to hide the faces of criminal suspects arrested for nonviolent crimes. (Murrieta Police Department )

The law — Assembly Bill 994 and Penal Code 13665 — also requires suspect mugshots posted on social media be deleted after 14 days unless special circumstances exist.

“The Murrieta Police Department prides itself on its transparency with the community, but also honors everyone’s rights & protections as afforded by law; even suspects,” the department said in a Facebook post.

The MPD started using Lego faces to obscure the faces of some criminal suspects long before the law went into effect on Jan.1, a police spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

“In the interest of keeping our residents updated on public safety events in our community while, at the same time, respecting the new regulations, we’ve been obscuring the faces of suspects in our social media posts in various ways. We’ve been doing this for the past couple of years, and it’s nothing new to us.”

A pair of suspects with Lego heads covering their faces in a Murrieta Police Department social media post.  (Murrieta Police Department)

In November, the department said it chose not to post images of those arrested for a number of reasons, citing the presumption of innocence and the effects a post could have on a person or their families.

Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

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