AZ Gov Vetoes Pro-Cop Bill

AZgovArizona Governor Doug Ducey vetoed legislation this requiring law enforcement agencies to keep the names of officers involved in shootings secret for two months, nixing a bill that was inspired by last year's events Ferguson, Missouri, and similar incidents around the country.

According to USA Today, legislatures around the nation are taking up various pieces of police shooting legislation, including proposals requiring police to wear body cameras or mandating that shooting investigations be done by outside agencies. But Arizona is apparently the only state considering new rules for releasing the names of officers, said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the Criminal Law Reform Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ducey, a Republican, faced pressure to veto the measure from police chiefs who say the plan would only to harm their ability to manage complex police-community relations. Civil rights groups and media organizations also oppose the plan.

Police unions, however, supported the bill, saying the required two-month delay will give time for investigations to play out. They call it a common-sense measure that will ensure officer safety.

"The simple fact remains that we live in a world where misinformation can put everybody in jeopardy, especially police officers," state Sen. John Kavanagh said last week. "And until we get those facts straight, we need to shield those cops and their families from being assassinated by lunatics or political zealots."

Arizona public-records laws currently require the release of an officer's name as soon as possible, unless the agency cites specific reasons for a temporary delay. In practice, agencies typically have released the name within several days but can hold off indefinitely if the officer's safety is in jeopardy.


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