Pa. House Passes Another Cop Shooting Bill

The bill would temporarily ban the naming of officers involved in deadly shootings. If it seems familiar, it is: Wolf vetoed nearly identical legislation last session.

istockphoto.com, catnap72

istockphoto.com, catnap72

A bill that would stall the naming of police involved in deadly shootings has passed the state House.

It’s nearly identical to a bill that passed state legislature last fall – before it was vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf. Republican Rep. Martina White sponsored both bills.

House Bill 27, which passed the House yesterday in a 157-39 vote, would put a 30-day ban (or until an investigation wraps up) on releasing the names of officers involved in shootings that lead to death or serious bodily injury. The legislation excludes the Attorney General’s and district attorney’s offices.

Wolf has vowed to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, stating that his opinion on the issue has not changed, according to the Inquirer. The legislation is strongly opposed by many Democrats, activists and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, all of which claim it limits police transparency at a time when police shootings of unarmed minorities have stirred national concern and dialogue.

“This bill would further erode the trust between citizens, specifically people of color, and our police forces at a time when police-community relations are too often strained,” State Rep. Jordan Harris, who chairs the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said in a statement released yesterday. “Hiding the name of a police officer involved in a potentially deadly encounter is not the way to improve trust between law enforcement and communities that have historically been marginalized by those in power.”

The bill now heads to the Senate. The Senate passed similar legislation in a 39-9 vote last session.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

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