A man who witnesses and police had identified as a suspect in a March 2 shooting at Harbour Food Mart in Riverdale is not the suspect, Clayton County Police announced in a press conference Wednesday.

Arterio Crumbley, 25, was incorrectly identified as the suspect, police say.

The warrants in the case were dropped March 16, said a CCPD spokesman.

Crumbley, who had turned himself in at the Clayton County Jail, reportedly remains in custody in Henry County on a separate probation violation.

The announcement comes the same week as CCPD has come under criticism for posting a partially censored body camera video of a dying suspect to social media. That person’s family says they did not ask to see the video.

Why we don’t publish certain crime videos or photos

It is The Clayton Crescent’s policy not to use mugshots unless there is an immediate threat, such as a manhunt or active shooting underway, and we take down that mugshot once the threat is past. This is because a suspect is not guilty unless and until convicted of a crime by a court of law. Crumbley’s case is an example of why The Clayton Crescent follows this editorial policy.

The Clayton Crescent does use courtroom photos in high-profile cases. This is because they show the defendant during the justice process, as well as the accusers. Georgia Open Records Law generally allows the media to photograph and record court proceedings, with rules varying by court. Federal courts do not allow the media to photograph and record most proceedings, with some limited exceptions.

It is also The Clayton Crescent’s editorial policy not to use produced videos like staged perp walks, public record images that have been censored or otherwise manipulated by law enforcement or government agencies, or posed “shaming” photos of suspects being taken into custody. This is not only because a suspect is presumed to be innocent unless convicted of the charge(s) in court, but also because public records manipulated by government entities amounts to prior restraint on First Amendment grounds.

The Clayton Crescent does not remove past reports of criminal arrests or convictions. This is because the fact of an arrest or conviction is a matter of public record. It is important for the public to know when someone is arrested, not to shame the person in custody, but as a matter of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is a person’s legal right to be brought before a judge, hear the charges against them, and challenge those charges. It keeps the judicial systems and law enforcement accountable to the public. In other words, the government cannot accuse you of a crime and hold you in secret or indefinitely without a trial.

For an in-depth explanation of “mugshot journalism” and why we don’t do it, visit The Marshall Project.

The Clayton Crescent is eager to hear from you about these editorial policies. Share your thoughts with us by commenting below or e-mailing editor@claytoncrescent.org .

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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