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Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:08 AM

Witnesses said a bank robber didn't have facial tattoos. So police digitally altered

Witnesses said a bank robber didn’t have facial tattoos. So police digitally altered a suspect’s mugshot.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/19/portland-bank-robber-facial-tattoos-photoshop-mug-shot/



It would be hard to miss Tyrone Lamont Allen’s facial tattoos.

The 50-year-old’s forehead is covered in delicate script, reaching from his eyebrows to his hairline. A single teardrop appears under his left eye, while his right cheek is unmistakably inked with a looping design.

So when authorities got a tip that Allen was behind a string of bank and credit union robberies in Portland, Ore., in April 2017, there was one major problem: None of the tellers had mentioned seeing any tattoos on the robber’s face. Surveillance footage, too, showed a man with no visible tattoos.

Yet, Allen was charged with the crime — after police took an unusual step. As the Oregonian first reported Friday, investigators used Photoshop to digitally alter his mug shot, covering up his distinctive tattoos. Two of the tellers, who weren’t told that the image had been edited, subsequently picked him out of a photo array of five similar-looking men and identified him as the robber.

Now, a federal judge in Oregon is tasked with determining whether that crucial evidence should be thrown out of court, and whether Allen’s rights were violated. His attorney, Mark Ahlemeyer, argued that the question has weighty implications, given that today’s technology makes it easier than ever to manipulate a photograph.

If covering up a suspect’s prominent facial tattoos is considered fair game, the federal public defender wrote in a recent motion, “there would presumably be nothing wrong with adjusting various pixels to make someone’s face appear slimmer, so long as the government’s theory was that the suspect had gained weight since the crime.”


When laziness is combined with racism, any black person will do. Especially if he can't afford a good lawyer.

Further down the article the police claim to do this all the time and don't have to report it. There should be laws about this sort of thing.

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Reply Witnesses said a bank robber didn't have facial tattoos. So police digitally altered (Original post)
IronLionZion Aug 2019 OP
dalton99a Aug 2019 #1
Proud Liberal Dem Aug 2019 #9
uponit7771 Aug 2019 #30
brush Aug 2019 #2
Downtown Hound Aug 2019 #3
Takket Aug 2019 #4
Wounded Bear Aug 2019 #11
IronLionZion Aug 2019 #24
Sanity Claws Aug 2019 #5
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #8
IronLionZion Aug 2019 #10
littlemissmartypants Aug 2019 #28
Proud Liberal Dem Aug 2019 #6
Hermit-The-Prog Aug 2019 #25
Proud Liberal Dem Aug 2019 #26
real Cannabis calm Aug 2019 #7
spanone Aug 2019 #12
avebury Aug 2019 #13
Caliman73 Aug 2019 #20
Proud Liberal Dem Aug 2019 #27
uponit7771 Aug 2019 #31
Progressive Law Aug 2019 #34
bucolic_frolic Aug 2019 #14
TexasBushwhacker Aug 2019 #15
Auggie Aug 2019 #16
Ilsa Aug 2019 #17
SCVDem Aug 2019 #18
cstanleytech Aug 2019 #19
IronLionZion Aug 2019 #21
cstanleytech Aug 2019 #22
displacedtexan Aug 2019 #23
Skittles Aug 2019 #29
Generic Brad Aug 2019 #32
IronLionZion Aug 2019 #33

Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:13 AM

1. Not the only mug shot digitally altered by Portland police

Ahlemeyer, the defense attorney, claimed the Photoshop job had a different motivation: It made his client look more like the perpetrator. Admitting the results into evidence could be a “slippery slope,” he argued.

“If a witness reports that a perpetrator did not have any front teeth, can the government simply black out a suspect’s teeth on the theory that it could be done with cosmetics?” he wrote. “Or if a suspect’s skin color is too dark or too light as compared to objective video evidence, can the government simply press a few strokes on a computer keyboard and adjust the color to match that objective evidence?”

Those questions largely haven’t been tested in court before, but Allen apparently isn’t the only one whose mug shot was digitally altered by the Portland Police Bureau. According to the Oregonian, Mark Weber, the forensic criminalist who “painted over the tattoos,” testified he had edited other suspects’ photos for lineups before and didn’t write up a report because the police department doesn’t require it.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:04 PM

9. As more and more of these kind of stories come out

I am beginning to understand more and more why people literally hate and fear the police, esp. POC.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 08:38 PM

30. Damn, so the forensic criminalist might have blown up a ton of other cases and convictions or just

... let people free.

this is so stupid of them

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:30 AM

2. Right. Racism and laziness is not a good combination for a police officer.

How the hell did they think they could get away with that? Eventually the guy's going to show up in court with tattoos on his face.

What was their plan then?

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:34 AM

3. Um...wow.

I have no words.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:38 AM

4. how is this any different than planting evidence?

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Response to Takket (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:26 PM

11. Evidence tampering of any sort is a pretty serious crime...

or at least it should be.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #11)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 02:55 PM

24. "should" is the key word

it's selectively enforced, so they take a chance on the folks who are represented by an overworked public defender instead of the well paid lawyers.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:45 AM

5. When did he get the tatoos?

The crime was two years ago. If he had the tatoos before then, then the Portland police is trying to frame this guy.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:01 PM

8. It is almost beside the point.

If doctored evidence is allowed, the police are empowered to “make the evidence fit their theory”. That is ass backwards. Not that the police don’t do this all the time, but generally when exposed the evidence is thrown out.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:21 PM

10. Before the crime. Cops claim he may have disguised it with makeup

and it sounds like they don't have enough other evidence and depend on the fact that he looks like the perp but with tattoos.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 04:16 PM

28. The make up cover up was my first thought.

It definitely makes it a more complicated situation. Altering the photo is as deceitful as is covering tattoos with make up. One expects more integrity from law enforcement than from a crime suspect. An explanation of the possible inconsistencies in his appearance should be included in the announcement. Or perhaps two photos, one with and one without the tats, with an explanation.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:00 PM

6. If the police claim to do this "all the time"

then we have a pretty big problem on our hands, amirite?!

Fake pictures
Fake DNA
Fake Drugs

How many people exactly are going to prison, losing kids, being MURDERED because of the police?! WTF IS GOING ON?!

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 03:02 PM

25. it feeds imprisonment for profit

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 03:14 PM

26. Which is also, obv a bad thing

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:00 PM

7. K&R This is worse than a DWB (Driving While Black) violation...

If they were new tattoos, these racist cops would have emphasized them.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:41 PM

12. K&R...

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:43 PM

13. Wouldn't a mugshot be a public record? How would the intentional alteration

of a mugshot not constitute the falsification of a public record, and thus be an illegal act?

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Response to avebury (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 02:04 PM

20. Courts have ruled that police are allowed to lie.

I suppose this is just the next step in the process?

How are we supposed to have any trust in the police when they are allowed to lie to us during questioning, to plant evidence without repercussions, and now to falsify evidence?

I know that the court has already ruled that police are not under any obligation to protect individual citizens. They are tasked with enforcing the law, but how is falsifying evidence enforcing the law?

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 03:15 PM

27. Just thought of this

but this just paves the way for police to start producing "deepfake" videos too, doesn't this?

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 08:40 PM

31. I thought they were allowed to lie to suspects not witness's about suspects?

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #31)

Tue Aug 20, 2019, 12:18 AM

34. Police are legally allowed to lie at any point except when under oath.

Courts have ruled that lying can be a legitimate police investigation technique.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 01:10 PM

14. Creating circumstantial evidence

you can't convict someone because someone thinks they look like someone, especially since it's an adulterated photo.

Now if other more tangible evidence emerges - fingerprint, money bags of cash, footprint - maybe you have the beginnings of a case.

Did any witnesses think the robber looked like he was wearing makeup? I don't think there are too many guys good with covering up their own tattoos.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 01:30 PM

15. Meanwhile, the real robber goes free! N/t

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 01:30 PM

16. Why is this not a no-brained? Get the lead out Judge.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 01:51 PM

17. Unless the witnesses personally or professionally know the criminal,

witness identification is very unreliable. They just don't remember those details of a face, especially under traumatic circumstances.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 01:57 PM

18. What's that saying?

 

Better to let one hundred guilty people go rather than to jail an innocent one.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 02:03 PM

19. If they could prove the tatoos were new then I would have no problem with this but if they cannot

then he needs to be freed and I hope he sues the hell out of the police department in civil court.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #19)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 02:16 PM

21. The tattoos are before the crime. Police think he disguised it with makeup

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 02:23 PM

22. Well they need to prove that then otherwise it probably needs to be tossed unless they have

something else to back up their claims like a fingerprint at the scene or some dna that he left there.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 02:34 PM

23. I sat on a jury somewhat similar to this case.

A father & son in DC were robbed by a black man wearing a red sweatshirt & black pants. I thought it curious that the father was not called as a witness, but the son was. During deliberations, we saw that the mugshot array (9 photos on a page used for the victims to ID a suspect ) all looked small & they were wearing white T-shirt’s, but the photo of the man on trial was larger (like it was enlarged & cropped), & he was wearing a red Redskins sweatshirt.

We did not convict him, and when the prosecutor & defense attorney interviewed us after the judge dismissed us, we learned that the father didn't testify because he couldn't identify a suspect, and the police had given the suspect the red sweatshirt to wear for the photo.

There's so much of this crap going on that it's absolutely overwhelming.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 08:32 PM

29. changing appearance to match the testimony of a witness

say what???

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 09:38 PM

32. If I was a bank robber and had facial tattoos I would cover them with make up

Or am I the only one who thinks like that? Lucky for you all I'm not a bank robber.

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #32)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 10:26 PM

33. It's in the article

In response, prosecutors argued the robber’s “immutable facial features” looked enough like Allen’s to justify adding him to the photo array, noting that he could have put on makeup before committing the robberies.


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