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Lego asks Murrieta Police Department to stop using Lego heads on mugshot photos

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The Murrieta Police Department has been asked by Lego to stop using Lego heads to cover the faces of suspects in images shared on social media.

The department regularly posts a "Weekly Roundup" series, where recent mugshots go out to the community with Lego heads and emojis covering people's faces. The department started using the replacement faces in Jan. 2023, to comply with new privacy laws. 

But on March 19, the toy company reached out and asked the department to stop, saying it's an infringement on intellectual property.

The day before the request to cease went out, the department had an Instagram post that went viral. It showed a lineup of five people with Lego heads in various expressions, plus an explanation attached explaining why the photo is doctored.

The department stated they cover suspect faces because of the new law, Assembly Bill 994 and Penal Code 13665.

The new law prohibits law enforcement from sharing suspect photos for nonviolent crimes and to remove suspect mugshots from social media after 14 days.

This caught the attention of the toy company, prompting the request to cease using Lego images.

Lt. Jeremy Durrant said in a statement, "… which of course we understand and will comply with."

"We are currently exploring other methods to continue publishing our content in a way that is engaging and interesting to our followers," Durrant wrote.

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