The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that local law enforcement departments cannot make public the names of officers who have shot citizens if the police officers themselves were victims of a crime, which is almost always what happens when a cop is involved in a shooting.
According to Yahoo News, Two officers in Tallahassee ended up shooting two suspects in different incidents, both then died as a result of their wounds. It was being argued in a lawsuit that the city shouldn’t release any information about the officers who discharged their weapons.
“The city and the news media argued that the records identifying the cops were public records under the Florida Constitution, and that law enforcement officers acting in their official capacities cannot be victims,” Yahoo reported.
“The trial court ruled for the city and media, saying the ‘court cannot interpret Marsy’s Law to shield police officers from public scrutiny of their official actions,'” the report continued.
“In a blow to Florida’s friendly public records law, the appeal court found that Marsy’s Law doesn’t exclude ‘law enforcement officers … from the protections granted crime victims,'” it added.
The court went on to say that keeping an officer’s identity secret after being involved in a violent altercation wouldn’t hinder investigations by internal affairs, nor the grand jury proceeding, nor would it stop a state attorney from bringing charges against the officer if it turned out they were not the victim of a crime.
This is an interesting ruling in a time period of anti-cop sentiment. Exposing cops unnecessarily subjects them to threats and harassment by the likes of Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
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