California Police Must Use Arrestees’ Preferred Pronouns When Posting Mugshots Under New Law

California Police Must Use Arrestees’ Preferred Pronouns When Posting Mugshots Under New Law

A man is arrested by an LAPD officer in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles on June 2, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte


Updated: 1/1/2024

A new California law set to take effect Jan. 1 will place more rules on the use of mugshots posted to law enforcement agencies’ social media accounts—including requiring the use of arrestees’ preferred pronouns.
Assembly Bill 994, which was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September, now requires police and sheriff’s departments across the state to include the name and pronouns provided by the arrested individual when sharing their mugshot.
The new requirement, unique to California, applies to individuals accused of any crime.
Also, under the new rule, authorities can’t post mugshots to social media of those accused of nonviolent crimes.
Exceptions include when a posting helps capture an individual who still poses a threat or is ordered by a judge.
The rule also requires that all mugshots be removed from law enforcement social media accounts within 14 days of posting, unless an exception applies.
The bill’s author, Sen. Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley), said it aims to protect privacy rights and gender expression.
“This bill brings more equality and justice to every Californian, by ensuring that no one is assumed of being guilty or being a particular gender,” he said in an August bill analysis. “As we protect our due process right, so too must we protect the privacy of every Californian. True justice is fairness! Equal protection under law should also have come with an equal protection of privacy and gender expression.”
Critics of the bill argued in the same analysis, however, that the bill could prevent the posting of booking photos of a person arrested for a violent crime unless specific conditions exist.
Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte


Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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