Mike Jagger. Al Capone. Martin Luther King.
Since he was indicted, there has been speculation whether Donald Trump would join the gallery of politicians, celebrities and notorious villains with a police photo.
In theory, everyone arrested in the United States will have a photo taken.
It’s part of an arrest rite — including being handcuffed and subjected to what Americans call a “perp walk,” or being taken into custody — that combines public humiliation with a demonstration that everyone, rich or poor, is equal before the law.
Famous political photos are those of Rosa Parks, after her famous bus ride in 1955. Martin Luther King was arrested dozens of times, but his most iconic photo is from 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was arrested for involvement in the bus boycott.
HR Haldeman, Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, stands straight-backed and impeccably dressed in shirtsleeves after being arrested following the Watergate scandal.
There’s one of a young Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, with a cheery grin on his face after being caught driving without a license in 1977, and American mobster Al Capone looking just as relaxed in his mug shot from the twenties.
Some musicians have found their rock star credentials polished up by a good mug shot.
David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix all seem unimpressed with separate arrests for drug charges.
However, not everyone carries their mugshot so lightly.
British actor Hugh Grant looks visibly uncomfortable after being arrested in 1995 for having sex in his car with prostitute Divine Brown.
Trump could make history as the first US president to get his mug shot when he surrendered at Georgia’s Fulton County Jail on Thursday.
During his previous indictments in Washington DC, Florida and New York, officials chose to use existing photos of the former president rather than take their own.
But in Georgia, where the 77-year-old faces arguably his most legally treacherous case yet, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat has indicated that Trump will be treated like anyone else.
“It doesn’t matter what your status is, we’ve got a mugshot ready for you,” Labat said earlier this month. “Unless someone tells me otherwise, we’re following our normal practices.”
Would the sympathy and outrage aroused in his rank and file by the sight of a former president in handcuffs outweigh the disgust of swinging voters? When he is photographed, should he frown or grin?
A Republican strategist who knows Mr Trump told the BBC in April that the former president would have considered all those fine details, including facial expressions and what he should wear during the perpetrator’s walk.
Ty Cobb, an ex-White House attorney, predicted that the former president will use every mugshot to raise money as he sees a return to the White House in next year’s election.
“I don’t think he will be physically searched by the sheriff’s office, but I do think they will insist on the mug shot and the fingerprints,” Cobb told CNN.
“I would expect the mugshot to be forwarded to Trump’s PR [public relations] people and they will raise money with it before he leaves prison,” he added.
This article was originally published April 4, 2023 and has been updated.
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