A Senate Committee O.K.’s a bill that would keep the names of officers involved in deadly shootings undisclosed for 90 days. Maricopa Republican Senator Steve Smith, who chairs the Senate Public Safety Committee where it passed, says his idea is about giving the public a cooling
off period following highly controversial police shootings. Once the officer’s name is out, he says, people may threaten cops or picket their homes.
Smith’s fears have already materialized. In December, after a huge outcry from the Black community over the deadly officer involved shooting of unarmed drug suspect Rumain Brisbon, activists such as the Reverend Jarrett Maupin marched to the Phoenix Police Department demanding the officer’s name be released. Once police revealed it was Officer Mark Rine, activists threatened to picket his home. Then Brisbon’s brother was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the Officer.
Still, many opponents who testified say they understand the bill’s intent but argue a 90 day cooling off period would look more like a cover-up period instead. They also say that’s too long to keep the name of a cop who killed a suspect under wraps. Some, including Reverend Maupin, called for the bill to be tabled in order to modify its language.
The bill moves next to the Rules committee then, likely to the Senate floor.