Should police be allowed to shame suspects on Facebook?

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BOSTONPolice departments are increasingly throwing humor into their Facebook posts about suspects arrested for drunken driving, drug trafficking and other crimes.

But not everyone finds it amusing.

Civil rights advocates complain that posting mugshots and written, pejorative descriptions of suspects amounts to public shaming.

In Taunton, Massachusetts, police wrote a flippant post about a woman who mowed down six mailboxes while allegedly driving drunk. They posted photos of her, a lawn she tore up with her car and a lizard she had in her bra.

A civil rights group recently worked on a successful effort to get Philadelphia police in the Special Operations unit to stop posting mugshots. The group says the posts make people the butt of a joke and can have damaging effects on their home lives and jobs.