05/11/2012

Court OKs keeping names of Ohio officers secret

Withholding IDs justified in face of threats

By Randy Ludlow
The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When a Columbus police officer's fatal shooting of a suspect inflamed passions in a South Side neighborhood last year, city authorities refused to identify the officer to protect him from "credible threats."
In an unrelated case, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday that law-enforcement agencies may withhold the identity of police officers who face substantiated threats of injury or death in retaliation for on-the-job actions.

The officers' constitutional right to privacy — and personal protection — supersedes Ohio's public-records laws, the justices ruled in the appeal of a case filed by The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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