Friday, April 01, 2016
You can't convict them
And in 20% of the Blue Murders, the department won't even reveal the name of the shooting officer.
Nationwide, 210 people were fatally shot last year by police officers who have not been publicly identified by their departments.There is a full range of arguments for releasing the names of the shooters or not but not doing so conveys a sense of protection for the police that no ordinary citizen would enjoy in real life. It's time to treat the police like civilians, that's what they really are.
In 2015, police in the United States shot and killed 990 people, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings. The vast majority of those killed by police were armed with guns or had attacked or threatened officers or civilians. The Post is continuing to track fatal shootings in 2016, recording more than 250 through March. The Post is also filing open-records requests seeking additional information about each shooting, including information about the officers involved, data that is not tracked by any federal agency.
For 2015, reporters obtained the names of officers responsible for 780 of the 990 shootings. In about 600 shootings, officers names were disclosed by police departments in news reports. In a handful of cases, names came to light through lawsuits or leaks to the news media. Where the names remained unknown, The Post contacted the departments and requested the officers’ identities.
In 145 fatal shootings, the departments declined to release the names to The Post, citing pending investigations, state or federal records laws, agreements with police unions or department policies. In another 65 fatal shootings, the departments did not respond to multiple requests for information.
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