Friday, March 15, 2002

drivers photos in criminal lineups?
The picture on my new license isn't terrible. It isn't one that I would want splattered all over the web, or on most-wanted posters in the postoffice either.

So, what if someone I knew reported a crime to the police, and was asked to come to the station, and look over some photographs? Imagine if my picture resembled the description they had given to the police. One step further -- consider whether the police could use in photographic lineups, the collection of photos from the Division of Motor Vehicles that were taken when people applied for, or renewed their driver's licenses?

Now, what if the police weren't telling people that they were using those pictures in this manner? And if your employer was contacted about your whereabouts because you were chosen from such a lineup?

I'm average height, average weight, and have no features that are extremely distinquishing. With brown hair, and brown eyes, there are a lot of people who resemble me, somewhat. I've had people tell me that I look like Paul McCartney. Others have told me that I look like Sylvester Stallone. Even others ask me if I went to high school with them, when I didn't, because I resemble someone who did.

But one of the last things I really want someone to tell me is that they saw my picture in a photo lineup at the police station. Or not tell me, but tell other people that I know.

This is a controversy that was uncovered in Colorado last week. State Senators weren't even aware that the photos were being used in such a manner. The Denver police officer quoted in the article stated that DMV photos were being used in like fashion nationwide. Do we do this in Delaware? It looks like Florida is using a similar practice.

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