Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature today passed a bill blocking public officials from publicly releasing the names of police officers involved in shootings. According to the legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Martina White of Philadelphia, officials cannot reveal the names of officers in shootings that resulted in death or “serious bodily injury” until at least 30 days after the incident, or once an official investigation has concluded. Violators of the law would face second-degree misdemeanor charges.
The only officials that would be exempt from the gag order: the state Attorney General’s Office and district attorney’s offices.
Supporters of the bill claim it would protect cops and their families, especially amid heightened tensions between law enforcement and local communities after a spate of police shootings of unarmed, mostly black men. The state’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has not indicated whether he’ll sign or veto the bill. Read more at PHILLY.COM.