Arizona Capitol

Arizona Lawmakers Want to Delay Releasing Identities of Police Involved in Shootings

A group of Republican Arizona lawmakers are proposing a law that would force police agencies to significantly delay the release the identity of officers involved in deadly shootings.

Senate Bill 1445 would keep the officer's identity under wraps for 90 days following any incident "that involves the use of deadly physical force," and results in the death or serious injury of a civilian or police officer.

See also: -Cop's Killing of Unarmed Black Man Catapults Phoenix Into New Civil Rights Movement

There are a few notable exceptions, including:

  • If the police officer has been formally charged with a crime
  • The criminal investigation is complete
  • The officer consents to his or her name being released
  • Court rules require the disclosure

The bill's primary sponsor, Republican Senator Steve Smith, did not return New Times' call requesting comment on the bill.

However, the bill was assigned to committees yesterday, which is a crucial first step in a bill's path to becoming law.

And, of course, this bill comes after a year of many high-profile police shootings around the country, and in Arizona, including a white Phoenix cop's killing of an unarmed black man.

Meanwhile, one Democratic lawmaker's response to the concern over police shootings involves bills to require police body cameras and require outside investigations into every police shootings.

Representative Reginald Bolding told us last month that, "After having conversations in the community . . . there's been a call for public trust, transparency, and accountability on behalf of the law enforcement agencies."

Zero action has been taken on Bolding's bills, HB 2511 and HB 2512, which isn't unheard of for Democrats' bills in the Republican-majority Legislature.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley