SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a bill that would ban police from publicly releasing mug shots until a person has been convicted of a crime, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Under HB228, photos taken by police after someone is arrested would become a protected record, and police couldn’t share them with the public or media unless that person is convicted or a judge orders their release. A mug shot could also be released if a suspect poses an “imminent threat” or is a wanted fugitive that police are seeking.
“This is a great policy that protects the innocent until proven guilty,” said Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine and the bill’s sponsor, as he encouraged his fellow lawmakers to imagine an allegation was lodged against them and that they were ultimately found innocent but their jail booking photo had already been splashed across the internet.
HB228 needs one final procedural vote in the Senate before moving to the governor’s desk for his signature or veto.
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