Dad says Google Maps shows dead son’s body
(CNN) — A California father is asking Google to remove a Google Maps image he says shows the body of his teen-age son, who was shot to death in 2009.
Jose Barrera, of Richmond, California, said he discovered the image, visible on Google Maps’ satellite view feature, last week.
“When I see this image, it’s still like that happened yesterday,” Barrera told KTVU-TV in Oakland, a CNN affiliate. “And that brings me back to a lot of memories.”
Kevin Barrera, 14, was shot and killed in 2009. Police discovered his body near a railroad track in Richmond on August 15 of that year, at an address that roughly matches the one of the scene in question.
His killer has not been found.
The image, which was still accessible on Google Maps on Monday afternoon, shows a police cruiser and a small group of people standing near what appears to be a prone human form near a set of train tracks.
CNN will not show the image without approval from the slain teen’s father. Messages left for Barrera had not been returned as of Monday afternoon.
Barrera said he plans to formally complain to Google and to lobby state lawmakers for their help in removing the image.
“What’s the point to show those pictures to the people, you know — pictures of my dead son?” he said. “This is really painful to the whole family.”
Google did not immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.
People frequently ask Google to remove content they find objectionable on its Maps pages, including Street View and Google Earth.
In many cases, the company declines such requests, though it’s not a sure thing.
“Your privacy and security are important to us,” the company writes on a Google Maps privacy page. “The Google Maps team takes a number of steps to help protect the privacy and anonymity of individuals when images are collected for Street View, including blurring faces and license plates. You can easily contact the Street View team if you see an image that should be protected or if you see a concerning image.”
The page says users “can also request the removal of images that feature inappropriate content (for example: nudity or violence).”