When it comes to mugshots or booking photos, there are times that Internet sleuths seemingly don’t want to wait for police departments to release them online before they go digging around to find them. Either by true mistake or with ill intent — at getting joy at passing around fake mugshots to see how far they’ll spread online, or as an attempt to make money off of fake news — wrong mugshots are being spread around in the wake of the viral video recorded on Facebook Live by Brittany Herring, as reported by the Inquisitr. The above mugshot is obviously not Herring’s mugshot. According to the Associated Press description of the photo, it was the booking photo of a man named Craig Buckner — and his macaw — a bird literally named “Bird.” With “Bird” perched on his shoulder in his mugshot, Craig gained a bit of web fame after the Washington County Sheriff’s office took the mugshot with the 4-year-old bird on his shoulder.
In the case of Herring’s Facebook Live beating, as reported by CNN, Brittany was arrested with three other people in Chicago in the wake of the kidnapping and torture displayed in the graphic video. A search for Brittany’s mugshot on Facebook results in plenty of people posting the below right-hand photo of the woman crying in her mugshot displayed in the following tweet. That’s because certain fake news websites jumped at the chance to rile up their Facebook followers with the photo of the crying woman. However, simply right-clicking on the photo and choosing “search Google for this image” would have led them to discover that the woman on the right is Brittany Shalynn Davis, as reported by ABC 13. That Facebook post containing the wrong mugshot showed up as the top post on Facebook when one searched for “Brittany Herring life in prison,” a topic that more than 18,000 people are currently talking about on Facebook — and had been shared thousands of times on Facebook.
— 算 New Media (@ExtinctMedia) January 5, 2017
The Facebook Community titled “Brittany Herring life in prison” still has the wrong crying booking photo of the wrong Brittany as of this writing, even if Facebook was smart enough to take the fake news with the wrong mugshot out of its top posts results for the “Brittany Herring life in prison” search term.
Other photos, like the screenshot from the Chicago Police website of a Brittany Covington with a bond date of October 5, 2016 — and an arrest date of Tuesday, October 4, 2016, are also being spread as seemingly intentional fake news. With a bond amount of only $1,500, the Twitter tweet seems designed to outrage folks and lure them into spreading it all over the Internet. That tweet has nearly 3,000 likes and has been retweeted more than 1,600 times — but claims of “Brittany Covington” also going by “Brittany Herring” are dubious at best.
Update: Heavy reports that Herring is Covington. As reported by the Chicago Police, the $1,500 bond is related to a previous arrest for retail theft of display merchandise less than $300 — and not her current arrest for the torture and kidnapping case.
The main culprit of the #BLMKidnapping has a bail of $1,500…
Wow, talk about privilege! pic.twitter.com/EKmQFaejIf
— Based Alaska™ (@bakedalaska) January 5, 2017
Certain intrepid Internet users are noting the discrepancies between the fake mugshots and booking photos and fake bond news being spread online. With the proliferation of fake news, some are calm enough when emotions run high to pause and do a bit more digging and Google searching before clicking share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter. Or, if they do share the photos, some are making sure they preface them with the fact that they are the wrong photos — and even perform side-by-side photo comparisons and research the details of the article spreading the news.
The Chicago Police Department was live on Facebook and provided an update “in regards to a disturbing video that has surfaced on social media depicting a victim that was tied, gagged and battered.” As of this writing, the Chicago PD’s Facebook page has not released Brittany’s mugshot.
[Featured Image by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office/AP Images]