Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Martina White is taking the bull by the horns when it comes to incidents of civilians being brutally injured or killed by police officers. She has sponsored legislation, which has passed the state legislature and is on its way to the governor’s desk that would protect. . . the police officers.
The new law, if signed by the governor, will ban public officials from releasing the names of police officers involved in police shootings.
Because, if there is anything that will dismantle the protection bad cops receive from the thin blue line’s code of silence regarding the actions of their law enforcement brethren, it’s less transparency in the system. Governor Wolf has not said if he plans to sign or veto, however, even if he vetoes the bill, it’s reported by philly.com that “both chambers approved it with veto-proof majorities. While they would have to reconvene after the election, they would have enough votes to override it.
Current Pennsylvania law allows local officials to make the call as to when an officer’s name is released. Policy in the state currently sits at the 72-hour mark, baring there are no credible threats to the officers involved.
We need new policy regarding transparency in our police departments. We need laws that protect good cops and protect citizens from being killed by authorities. This new law is only going perpetuate the problems, not solve them.
Rep. Margo Davidson, who is a Democrat, said during the floor debate:
Do not undermine the bridges that have been built between law enforcement and communities of color. This legislation will do nothing but breed suspicion.
This law is just more of the same “cover your ass” policy that has been alive and well in our police forces for as long as anyone can remember.
Perhaps the only silver lining is it would be more difficult for right-wing nut-jobs to raise huge sums of money through internet fundraisers for killer cops. But, even that isn’t much consolation to the families who have lost loved ones at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve.