In yet another instance of an unconventional use of 911, a Georgia woman was less than thrilled with her “photo shoot” at the local jail and called 911 dispatchers to complain last Sunday. As reported by the Barrow County News, Tonya Ann Fowler was unhappy because her mugshot was published in a local publication called The Bad and Busted, which has the slogan “Your link to the clink.”
According to the patrol officer filing the police report in this matter, “Ms. Fowler stated, to me, she was upset about how she looked on the front page of the Bad and Busted printing.”
The 911 call to the Barrow County emergency line just made matters worse, however, because Winder, Ga., police later charged Fowler, 45, with unlawful use of 911 and disorderly conduct, since it wasn’t her only non-emergency 911 call of the day.
It turns out that later that same day, she called police with “a request for someone to house her personal affects as she was being evicted from her current living quarters.” Apparently the combination of the two calls led to her arrest for misuse of the 911 system.
According to The Smoking Gun, Fowler was held in the Barrow County Detention Center for three days before bonding out yesterday afternoon. However, police did allow her to pose for second mugshot, which is pictured above.
The New York Daily News reports that a previous arrest was for “terroristic threats and acts.”
Leaving aside this particular case for a second, although booking photos are public information, do you think it’s fair for local or national media to publish mugshots of arrestees before they are actually found guilty?
This photo below is apparently the original booking photo: