Today Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to sign into law the “Mug Shot Bill” (HB 729) that would restrict the public’s access to photos of persons arrested in this state. At present the Red River Sheriff’s Office issues a weekly arrest report giving all charges and a photo of persons arrested. Here is the link to the most recent report:
Upon the Governor’s signature, all law enforcement agencies in the state will be expected to comply with this new bill. The Journal has inquired of the Red River Sheriff’s Office on what their compliance would look like.
HB 729 will require all law enforcement agencies to immediately cease publishing booking photos for most offenses to the public and media. There are exceptions in the bill for certain violent offenses.
It will take time for the full effect of the law to be implemented in Red River and other parishes. Editorially speaking, this law will drastically effect your access to public information, or to something that has traditionally been considered public.