California Police Asked to Stop Using Lego Heads to Disguise Suspects

You don’t want to get on the bad side of a big corporation, even if you’re the police. A California police department said it was asked by Lego to stop using its intellectual property to disguise the faces of suspects in photos.

Over the last few years, the Murrieta Police Department has been using various images to cover the faces of suspects in mug shots and other photos posted to social media. These range from emoji faces and characters from movies like “The Grinch,” “Shrek” and “Barbie.” In 2024, California adopted a statewide law prohibiting police from sharing photos of suspects in non-violent crimes

“The Murrieta Police Department prides itself in its transparency with the community but also honors everyone’s rights & protections as afforded by law; even suspects,” the department wrote. “In order to share what is happening in Murrieta, we chose to cover the faces of suspects to protect their identity while still aligning with the new law.”

The department decided to use images depicting the heads of Lego minifigs to block out of the faces of suspects in social media posts but Lieutenant Jeremy Durrant said that particular practice must now be stopped.

“The Lego Group reached out to us and respectfully asked us to refrain from using their intellectual property in our social media content, which, of course, we understand and will comply with,” Durrant said in a statement. “We are currently exploring other methods of publishing our content in a way that is engaging and interesting to our followers.”