Friday, November 27, 2015

Bill to hide the identity of police involved in shootings faces growing opposition in Pennsylvania

Opposition is growing to a fast-tracked bill that would hide the identity of police officers involved in shootings in Pennsylvania, reported CBS. Philadelphia’s top cop is among those speaking out.
The FOP-backed House Bill 1538, passed the house with bipartisan support last week. If the bill becomes law in Pennsylvania, it would keep private the identity of officers involved in shootings while an investigation into an incident is ongoing. Once the investigation is complete, it would allow the release of the officer’s name, if he or she is charged with a crime, as long as there is no threat against the officer. In other words, there could be cases where the public will never ever learn the name of an officer involved in a shooting.
“I’m against it, I think it’s a huge mistake,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told KYW Newsradio.
Earlier this year, Ramsey implemented a directive within the department that allows police officer names to be released within 72 hours of a police involved shooting. The Fraternal Order of Police claims the policy endangers the lives of officers and their families. FOP President John McNesby did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday, but previous statements were available on the Republican Caucus website.
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