The Republican-controlled Arizona state legislature passed a bill yesterday that would protect the identity of officers who shoot civilians, causing death or serious injury, reported Slate.
Senate Bill 1445 bans all government entities from releasing the names and identities of police officers who shoot civilians within 60 days of the incident. Any disciplinary action taken, as well as past disciplinary actions will not be released within that same 60 days.
Despite the bill’s supporters saying it will protect officers from harassment, its critics say the bill “will only exacerbate public frustration with the police by decreasing transparency and accountability.”
The bill is on its way to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk for signing. At that point, the police protection bill will become law. Ducey has yet to say whether or not he will sign the bill. Considering that Arizona Republicans are staunchly pro-law enforcement, it’s likely Ducey will sign the bill.
The state of Arizona has a reputation for passing aggressive legislation that targets minorities in order to pack its correctional facilities, which are mostly owned by private corporations. SB 1445 goes a step further and protects overzealous officers who are quick to pull the trigger.