Lego instructs California police department to stop using Lego heads to mask identities of suspects

The Murrieta Police Department in California has been instructed by Lego to stop digitally adding Lego heads onto photos of suspects, according to a recent report.

Murrieta Police Department Lt. Jeremy Durrant told Fox News Digital in a statement that the Lego Group requested that it stop using Lego heads in their social media posts.

“The Lego Group reached out to us and respectfully asked us to refrain from using their intellectual property in our social media content which of course we understand and will comply with,” Durrant said. “We are currently exploring other methods to continue publishing our content in a way that is engaging and interesting to our followers.”

CALIFORNIA POLICE DEPARTMENT USING LEGO HEADS TO REPLACE FACES OF SUSPECTS

The Murrieta Police Department in California has been instructed by Lego to stop digitally adding Lego heads onto photos of suspects, according to a recent report.  (Murrieta Police Department )

In an Instagram post from Tuesday, the Murrieta Police Department explained that it was placing Lego head images over suspects’ faces to mask their identities in accordance with state law.

“On January 1st, a new law went into effect that restricts the how and when law enforcement agencies in California share suspect photos & mugshots,” the post reads. “The new law, Assembly Bill 994 & Penal Code 13665, now prohibits law enforcement from sharing suspect photos for nonviolent crimes, unless specified circumstances exist. Additionally, the new law requires agencies to remove suspect mugshots from social media after 14 days, unless special circumstances exist.”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.

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.

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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. (Fox News)

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 previously 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.”

Lego did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

Jeffrey Clark is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. He has previously served as a speechwriter for a cabinet secretary and as a Fulbright teacher in South Korea. Jeffrey graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with a degree in English and History. 

Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

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