Friday, June 18, 2010

Always Smile For Your Police Booking Photo

You’ve seen them many times, police mug shots. They are always the same. Those photos of the arrested reveal hostile, sad, drunk or crazy people charged with crimes.

Police show those photos to crime witnesses to establish legal identifications of suspects enabling arrests and indictments. Eye witnesses are absolutely unreliable and will almost never identify a picture of someone with a broad smile in a photo lineup. They always go for a face with the nasty scowl

In cases with media interest editors and news directors always love to redundantly publish those really rude looking and sensational booking photos. A pleasant smile can take a booking photo and turn it into something taken from a Facebook page. The media does not want bore their readers and viewers with routine pleasant faces.

Getting arrested and charged with a crime is an unpleasant experience especially if you’re actually innocent. Trying to muster a smile at a difficult time like that is nearly impossible. If you can manage to smile it may help you immensely.


Ex Juvenile Delinquent said...

Just FYI, most cop shops don't allow you to smile for your mug.

When I was 16, I was walking around town in a ghost costume "boo!"-ing people for kicks.

The cops booked me for "wearing a mask for evasion" (a felony, btw)

When they attempted to take the mug, I had a huge smile planted on my face.


I insisted until and they kept retaking until they got fed up and put me on ice for an hour or so. Then they said, can we take your picture without you smiling now?

I still got a little smirk in there...

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't include the famous Bill Gates smiling mug shot, here:


Anonymous said...

Years ago I had a colleague who had previously been arrested by the Feds. He had a surely mug shot. He said the officers mocked/slapped/roughed him up on the way the the mug shot.


Anonymous said...

I tried smiling for a mug shot some years ago, and wound up getting two teeth knocked out of my head by one of the cops at the station house.

Anonymous said...

[The cops booked me for "wearing a mask for evasion" (a felony, btw)]

D'you mind if I ask where this was?

I'm interested because this sounds *exactly* like the sort of silly, made-up, non-crime that the NYPD in particular specializes in booking people on to help get the arrest numbers up. That is, officer performance is judged by the number of arrests they make, regardless of whether the charge is reasonable, unreasonable, or Just Plain Silly.

If someone is wearing a mask whilst, say, robbing a bank, why would "wearing a mask" need to be a separate charge? Robbing a bank isn't enough?

If, on the other hand, they are merely wearing a mask, I'm unclear as to just what "crime" is taking place here.

(Not that you necessarily need to be doing anything recognized as being morally or ethically wrong to get arrested these days.)