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This man’s mug shot is heating up the Web, and that’s provoking a backlash


The mug shot of a good looking 30-year-old convicted felon arrested in California has been "liked" tens of thousands of times on a police Facebook page. (Reuters)

Many find it disgusting, especially because it’s happening on the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page, which also remembers a recently fallen officer.

But the mug shot of a 30-year-old convicted felon has thousands swooning. Jeremy Meeks was arrested Wednesday during a gang sweep in the Weston Ranch section of Stockton, Calif., and faces five weapons charges and one gang charge, Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva told the Associated Press.

Authorities seized four guns, two rifles, a handgun and a shotgun as part of their Operation Ceasefire mission in response to an increase in shootings and robberies in the area, police said. Silva said Meeks, who is being held on a $900,000 bond, is “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area.” He declined to speak further about Meeks’s criminal past.

Still, many seem more intrigued by his mug shot than his rap sheet. Meeks was booked Wednesday afternoon into the San Joaquin County Jail — and that’s when the ogling started. When police posted the mug shot of the 6-foot-1, 170-pound, baby blue-eyed alleged felon on their Facebook page, boy-watchers went nuts.

As of Friday morning, his mug shot had nearly 40,000 likes, 4,500 shares and 13,000 comments. And media all over were reporting about it, using headlines such as “Ladies love this felon’s mugshot” and writing that Meeks is “arguably the most wanted felon in Northern California … wanted by the ladies, that is.” Here’s a small sampling of the Facebook comments:

With a face like that so much better suited to a life in front of a camera, rather than behind bars. What a shame. His eyes are amazing. Bad boys yum yum. Ridiculously photogenic criminal … send him my way! Haha. Daaaaaaamn … Felonies … shmellonies …who cares!?!?! I love him!!!!!

But plenty of people found it — and Meeks — not so hot, especially in light of the memorial on the same page to fallen officer Scott Hewell. Hewell died on June 11 of injuries he suffered in a crash while on his way to help another officer who had stopped a man involved in a shooting.

(Stockton Police Department) (Stockton Police Department)

By early Friday morning, the buzz had created a backlash.

Many voiced concerns on the department’s Facebook page, saying, “I find it incredibly sad that an alleged felon on this page gets so much more attention on Facebook than a fallen officer.”

Others paid tribute to Hewell. “Shame on the low life youth of America and the media/social networks that [glorify] the scum of the earth but don’t recognize the people who protect them,” one said. “May God be with the family, friends and officers that knew Officer Hewell, and those officers that still protect us daily!”

And one commenter said those obsessing over Meeks’s looks should consider his crimes: “He’s a convicted felon who was in possession of firearms. Meaning that due to his prior record he was not allowed to have a firearm. There’s nothing attractive about that.”

Updated at 7:00am to reflect new comments on police department’s Facebook page.

Lindsey Bever is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. Tweet her: @lindseybever



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