April 16, 2024

Lego has requested that the Murrieta, California police department stop posting its yellow minifigure heads on suspects’ faces.

The toy production company contacted the police department last week and held a “constructive” conversation to snap the department into line. They acted after the Murrieta police posted on social media a fictional line-up of five men with different Lego heads in place of their actual mugs.

The law enforcement post was titled “Why the covered faces?” It was issued as a reminder about a new California law that “prohibits law enforcement from sharing suspect photos for nonviolent crimes, unless specified circumstances exist.”

The post read, “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. 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.”

Murrieta police Lt. Jeremy Durrant said Lego officials “were flattered we were using their images, but asked us to respectfully refrain from using their intellectual property in our social media pages.”

“It was a good conversation,” he adds. “They didn’t go demand that we take everything down. It was basically, ‘Hey, you guys had a good run. Go ahead and stop from now.’ And we’re like, ‘Yep, not a problem.’”

The Lego heads seemed “to be the easiest way to get our message across with the different expressions and a variety of different faces,” said Durrant. “So that’s what we settled on. We used emojis before that. We’ve used some other things, but Lego seemed to be the most popular.”

The Lego Group declined to comment.

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