The Detroit police union didn’t want you to see the face of a cop accused of stealing more than $26,000 in reward money from a police tip hot line.
They claimed the mugshot, which was taken when he was booked into jail earlier this month, was part of his personnel file, and therefore not available for public disclosure.
Attorneys for the Detroit Free Press newspaper argued that this was a ridiculous claim.
Then again, if you’re familiar with the Detroit Police Department, it’s possible that they are recruiting officers directly from the jails, which would very well make the mugshots part of their personnel files.
But all snarkiness aside, even personnel files should be covered under the public records laws.
But obviously the Detroit Police Officers Association has enough clout where they could supersede common open records laws that ensure a transparent government.
And they have enough gall to claim that a mugshot of an arrested officer is not a public record, even though mugshots of anybody else arrested for a crime are public record.
The issue made it the Michigan Court of Appeals, who thankfully ruled this week on the side of common sense and common law.