Pa. lawmakers approve ban on naming cops in shootings
The bill blocks public officials from immediately releasing the names of officers involved in shootings
By PoliceOne Staff
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that blocks public officials from immediately releasing names of officers involved in shootings.
Currently, the law lets officials determine when to identify officers. Typically, Pennsylvania police departments name the officer within 72 hours, if there is no credible threat to the officer and family. The new bill requires officials to wait until 30 days after the OIS, or after the investigation has ended, to publicly name the officer.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, anyone who violates the order could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. The state AG’s office and DA offices would be exempt.
Supporters of the bill told the publication that the vote was necessary to protect officers and families after incidents.
"We are the protectors of our protectors," Rep. Dominic Costa told the publication.
Opponents said the bill eliminates transparency, which they believe is necessary to ensure trust with the community in the current climate.
“Do not undermine the bridges that have been built between law enforcement and communities of color,”Rep. Margo Davidson said. “This legislation will do nothing but breed suspicion.”
The bill was sent to Gov. Tom Wolf to finalize measures. The publication reported Wolf has not said if he will sign or veto the bill.
If the governor were to veto the bill, the legislature would have enough votes to override it, but would have to reconvene after the election.