ACLU of Pennsylvania Urges Governor Wolf to Veto Police Secrecy Bill
HARRISBURG, Pa.– The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania joined other civil rights advocates and clergy today at a press conference at the state capitol to call on Governor Tom Wolf to veto legislation to hide the identity of police officers who injure and kill people. If House Bill 1538 becomes law, public officials who identify police officers who injure or kill someone within 30 days of the incident could be charged criminally. Only district attorneys and the Attorney General are exempt from the gag order.
The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“We entrust police officers with a great deal of power, including the use of force. That power must be coupled with transparency and accountability to the public.
“By passing this bill, the General Assembly failed to recognize or acknowledge the responsibility to the public that police departments have. The legislature has passed a policy that will heighten tensions between the police and the communities they serve.
“We urge Governor Wolf to veto this bill and support transparency in policing.”
The following can be attributed to Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“This bill completely undermines the idea of local control. Local officials can assess what is best for their communities. This bill disempowers them and even threatens them with prosecution. Politicians in Harrisburg are implementing a one-size-fits-all mandate for every community in Pennsylvania.”
House Bill 1538 was signed in the state Senate yesterday, so Governor Wolf now has ten days to sign or veto the legislation.
Last week, the ACLU of Pennsylvania submitted a letter to the governor urging him to veto the bill. That letter is available at:
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