Is Bing Maps Hosting Images of a Homicide Victim? [Update]

Image: Bing Maps
Image: Bing Maps

In Bing Maps, a street view at the corner of Pennington Avenue and Hazel Street in Baltimore’s Curtis Bay neighborhood shows a single police car, two officers, and what appears to be a man in the middle of the street bleeding from the skull.


According to the caption, these images were taken April 29th of 2015, mere days after the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department.

The Baltimore Sun wrote, on that same day:

Homicide detectives were investigating two incidents that occurred during daylight hours Wednesday — men who were shot in the head in the 3800 block of Liberty Heights Ave. in Northwest Baltimore, and at Pennington Avenue and Hazel Street in Curtis Bay. The Curtis Bay victim died at the hospital, while the Liberty Heights victim was being treated at an area hospital.

Baltimore Police Department was not immediately available for comment, but it seems beyond likely that Bing has been hosting picture of a now-deceased gunshot victim for a year and a half.

It’s not known what sort of review process street view images undergo, as Microsoft was also unavailable for comment at the time of publication.


Update 10/24/16 3:30pm EDT: A Microsoft spokesperson responded to say that Bing Maps relies, “on automated machine algorithms to blur faces and license plates to minimize personally identifiable information in our imagery.” In this particular instance, the issue has less to do with personally identifying information as much as a gruesome active crime scene. In any event, the spokesperson stated that, “we have been notified of this image and are in the process of removing it from our servers which we expect to be complete in the next few hours.”

At present, the image remains available on Bing.

Update 10/26/16 10:51am EDT: The image has been removed in Bing street view. In case your curious what that looks like:

Illustration for article titled Is Bing Maps Hosting Images of a Homicide Victim? [Update]

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David E. Davis

That picture couldn’t be more fitting given that city’s nickname of Bodymore.

OTOH...Google Street view has some pretty funny pictures.