Detroit Free Press Sues DOJ Over Refusal to Release Mug Shots


The Detroit Free Press has sued the U.S. Department of Justice for not releasing mug shots of criminal defendants, arguing that courts have ruled that the public has a right to see those photos. The lawsuit involves the booking photos of three high-profile criminal defendants: former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick; his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, and his friend Bobby Ferguson. The Free Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the mug shots with the U.S. Marshals Service on Feb. 12, while the men were standing trial on public corruption charges. The Justice Department denied the request, saying release of the mug shots “could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” The Free Press has sued over the issue twice before. In 1996, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that mug shots should be made public.

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