California Supreme Court seems ready to rule for disclosure of names of police officers involved in shootings

A police union may well lose its appeal of a ruling in favor of releasing the names of police officers involved in shootings. Attorneys for the officers argued in California’s Supreme Court that releasing the names would put officers at risk and violate their personnel rights. Several comments by justices during oral arguments indicated they were questioning the union position including the observation that officers wear name plates identifying them. (Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2014, by Maura Dolan)

The union’s attorney said it was dangerous to speculate how the court might decide and said in the Internet era officer safety is at greater risk.  (Long Beach Press Telegram, March 4, 2014, by Beatriz Valenzuela with Associated Press reports)

The press ventured opinions in support of a court ruling against the police officers’ union. “The public should know…if an officer is involved in a series of shooting incidents. It should know if a shooting is an isolated incident for that officer,” wrote the Los Angeles Daily News in an editorial, March 5, 2014, by the Los Angeles News Group editorial board.