Microsoft included an image of a man who had just been fatally shot in Curtis Bay on its Bing Streetside mapping software last year. The morbid visual remained there until yesterday, when, after the Sun ran a report about the body lying in the road on camera, the software company edited it out.
The victim, identified by police as 24-year-old Ricky Chambers, Jr., died after he was shot several times on April 29, 2015, on Pennington Avenue at Hazel Street. Police had just arrived at the intersection and found him there when one of Microsoft’s cars drove by and photographed it before continuing onward, the Sun reports.
The effort was not intentional – Bing was only broadening its territory for its service, which is similar to Google’s Street View – but the car did not stop, and the company never bothered to censor or blur the view of the body lying in the road. One view of it showed Chambers’ feet poking out from behind the car, while another fully showed an officer standing over his body.
The Baltimore Police Department contacted Microsoft about the matter yesterday and the company responded quickly. FOX45 also followed up with the software firm about the picture. A company spokesperson told the station they were “committed to providing the best mapping experience that protects the privacy of individuals” and that they were working on removing the image.
By this morning, the scene with the two officers and their cruiser by the body at the intersection was gone. In its place is a large, rectangular white box shielding the scene, as seen above.
Chambers’ family can at least rest easy knowing the image has been taken down. Police have not yet arrested a suspect in his murder.
Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.
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