Naturally law enforcement officers are insisting that this wasn’t a “real” photo array, but WWLTV in Louisiana is reporting that a photo array was uncovered in a Louisiana police department which included, above the suspect’s photo, the words:
“Place your finger here”
“He did it”
The photo was discovered on a bulletin board inside the police department by a reporter examining the scene, a police department still locked down after being ravaged by Katrina two and a half years ago.
Metro Crime Commission officials Rafael Goyeneche and Tony Radosti, upon investigation, “raised serious concerns about a photograph they found.”
It’s a picture of six men in an apparent police lineup with one man circled and the phrases “place your finger here” and “he did it” written above.
“To have something like this in any police department, I think it’s embarrassing and potentially a civil rights violation,” said Goyeneche.
The picture is on a bulletin board in the damaged police station. There is no way to determine how long it has been there, who put it there or who wrote on it, but Goyeneche said the public is owed an explanation.
“This is an indication of a grander problem,” he said. “(It’s) a problem that requires an immediate and complete investigation.”
No one seems to know the context in which the photo emerged (it has also been described as a “sick joke”), and certainly no one has admitted any wrongdoing, but its mere existence is reason for concern, at the very least, about the tone of law enforcement with respect the ongoing, systemic problem of wrongful convictions resulting from suggestive police lineup procedures.