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D.C. Councilwoman Cheh Pushes For Public Release Of Mugshots

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Mallory Noe-Payne

A D.C. Council member wants to make it easier for the public to see mugshots.

Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh says mugshots are an important part of police investigations, and when these booking photos are released to the public, they can help authorities make connections otherwise not possible.

Cheh's proposal, which was introduced at the council today, would require the Metropolitan Police Department to release these photographs when requested by the media or the public.

Cheh says over two-thirds of states provide for the public release of mug shots.

"In the District, there is no explict statutory bar on the release of these photographs," Cheh says. "However, the MPD exempts mug shots that are open to the public with the limited exemption for prostitution offenses."

The proposal would also apply to juvenile offenders.

Cheh says her bill would provide more "transparency" for the city's justice system.

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