California: Starting Jan. 1, police must use desired pronouns of detainees

Law enforcement must also retroactively remove all mugshots on social media after two weeks.

California police departments will have to use criminals' preferred gender pronouns starting in 2024. Next Monday, AB 994 will come into effect, which requires police forces to address and refer to detainees in this manner during the entire investigation processes, such as when mugshots are taken.

The new law also restricts the use of social media by police departments. Mugshots of criminals may only be published for two weeks, in the case of individuals charged with violent crimes.

The law also stipulates that images should only be published if "the suspect is a fugitive or an imminent threat to an individual or to public safety and releasing or disseminating the suspect’s image will assist in locating or apprehending the suspect or reducing or eliminating the threat." In the event that suspect is on the run for more than two weeks, a judge may allow his or her photograph to remain on the authorities' social media pages.

The law will have retroactive effect, and therefore police departments across the state must remove all mugshot photos from social media pages officially linked to their department. The official websites of the departments are exempt from this rule.