Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why is it?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 1:12 PM

In the case of police officers who shoot suspects, it takes days and weeks for the public to learn the names of the officers. I don't get it.

Why is it that if Joe Public shoots anyone, and God forbid a police officer, his name, face and criminal history is plastered across the newspaper?

Shouldn't the public know who the officers are that shot someone? Telling someone's name doesn't reflect his or hers innocence or guilt. And it's not as if there will be retribution in the streets. Because most people do respect the police and what they do. It's the blue wall of silence that many people don't like.

Why won't the police chief in Salisbury release the names of the officers involved in a deadly shooting over the weekend?

He told the Salisbury Post:

Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said Monday he wasn't yet releasing the names of the three officers who fired at Simmons. He did not explain why, except to say the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an inquiry, standard procedure when an officer shoots someone.

Standard procedure? Other departments in the area release the names of officers. In the shootings that Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officers were involved in, the officers’ names were released. Why not at SPD?

And while we're at it, why is it that in these cases, we [the public] never learns if the officer had write-ups for excessive force or other issues? As taxpayers, don't we have a right to know? For too long law enforcement has been blanketed in a secrecy that isn't afforded to the average person. Why is that?

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