Page through your newspaper, touch your smartphone or turn on your television, and there they are again: stories of angry, distraught police officers mourning one of their own who was shot and killed while in uniform. Or stories of angry, distraught citizens protesting — and in some cases rioting — when someone is killed or injured while being pursued by police or in custody.
Now, a Pennsylvania state representative has a bill she hopes will quell the raw emotion that can lead to violence or vigilante justice after a police-involved shooting or other serious incident.
But the American Civil Liberties Union and the head of the state’s largest municipal police force say the bill proposed by Rep. Martina White, R-Philadelphia, might do more harm than good.
White’s bill, which already has 42 co-sponsors, would grant anonymity to police officers involved in the “discharge of a firearm or the use of force” unless the officer is charged with a crime. If no charge is filed, the officer’s identity would be kept secret to protect the “officer or their immediate family.”