Alabama newspapers are cracking down on the practice of posting photos of their reporters’ mugshots online.
State Rep. Brian Clements has introduced HB 576, which would require newspapers to remove mugshots from their websites, which currently are posted in a variety of formats.
The bill was filed Wednesday in the House by Rep. Bill Jones, who represents Montgomery County, where Alabama has a population of around 9 million.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety has said that it has no authority to require newspaper sites to remove the photos.
The bills comes amid heightened scrutiny of the practice.
Last month, the Associated Press reported that a local newspaper in New Jersey had been using a photo from a mugshot that was reportedly stolen from the National Enquirer.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler has also weighed in on the issue, calling the practice a “violation of civil liberties.”
Zeigley said that while the law may be a little on the light side, it does pose a significant threat to free speech.
“And they are subject to a lot of the same kinds of complaints and harassment that happen to the public at large.””
Jones said that his bill is intended to help protect people’s privacy and keep the public informed of police activity. “
And they are subject to a lot of the same kinds of complaints and harassment that happen to the public at large.”
Jones said that his bill is intended to help protect people’s privacy and keep the public informed of police activity.
The bill would also give newspapers the option to remove photos of the officers from their site and put them in a folder where they are not displayed.