Suspects’ Mug Shots to be Withheld from Media Release in New York State
Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative leaders have agreed to stop the routine public release of arrest mug shots.
The Associated Press reports, however, the original proposal has changed and authorities will continue to allow public access to other booking information.
The state budget approved April 1 by the Democrat-controlled Legislature contains legislation amending the state Freedom of Information Law to shield booking photographs from public access.
The AP reports that Cuomo, a Democrat, had sought to allow police to withhold all booking information, including criminal charges.
Senate and Assembly leaders initially agreed but changed their minds after complaints by civil liberties advocates and media organizations. The groups said withholding information from the public concerning possible criminal activity in their communities not only impedes residents’ right to know but could also impact public safety.
Cuomo says his proposal was aimed at cracking down on unscrupulous websites that post mug shots and then charge subjects money to have them removed from the internet.