Lego heads in mugshots? Why a California police department is getting creative

Something looks a little funny on one California police department’s social media pages.

The Murrieta Police Department is photoshopping Legos onto suspects’ faces in mugshots and arrest photos.

Locals have noticed this phenomenon on the police department’s social media, and the department’s reason turns out to be simple.

A new law that went into effect Jan. 1 prohibits law enforcement from sharing suspect photos for nonviolent crimes, except in special circumstances, MPD said in a March 18 Instagram post. They are also required to remove suspect mugshots from social media after 14 days.

Wanting to continue to share with locals, “we chose to cover the faces of suspects to protect their identity while still aligning with the new law,” MPD said.

To do this, the police department chose Legos, overlaying Lego heads on the heads of suspects in photos shared on its social media.

MPD started doing this long before the law took effect. A scan of the department’s Instagram feed reveals Lego arrest photos dating back many months.

In November, the department explained in a post that while they know other departments continue to post faces of arrestees, their department chose not to when Assembly Bill 1475 was passed in 2021, which banned posting booking photos for nonviolent crimes.

With the new law expanding on that premise, the police department has even more reason to keep this up.

“The Murrieta Police Department prides itself in its transparency with the community, but also honors everyone’s rights and protections as afforded by law; even suspects,” MPD said.

Murrieta is about a 65-mile drive north from San Diego.

Thieves are using Wi-Fi jammers to break into people’s homes, California cops warn

iPhone SOS alert sends California rescuers on trek through knee-deep streams

Crime spree leads cops to booby-trapped home rigged to explode, California officials say