Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Release of officer's name in shooting at issue

One of the most frustrating things for reporters covering an "officer involved shooting" is the refusal of law enforcement agencies to name the officer who pulled the trigger.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Randi Rossman reports that the ACLU is attempting to get Sonoma County sheriff's officials to release the name of a deputy who shot and killed an apparently unarmed man following a chase.

Terry Francke, general counsel of the open government group Californians Aware, told Rossman that law enforcement agencies may be legally justified in withholding the name if there's a “clear and direct threat” to the officer's safety. But Francke said there's no legal basis to withhold that information indefinitely.

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