Bill keeping police names private passes house subcommittee

Posted at 12:32 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 16:47:21-05

NORFOLK, VA. – A bill that would protect the identity of an officer involved in a police shooting passed a subcommittee Thursday.

House Bill 2043 would make it illegal to release the names of a law-enforcement officer until an investigation is completed or six months have passed.

Bridgette James' brother Willie was killed by two Norfolk Police officers in June 2016.

She disagrees with the bill.

“The victim’s name is in the paper, the victim’s name is on the documents. The victim’s name is already in the courthouse and everything. So I feel like the police officer should be the same way," James said.

Sponsored by Del. Jackson Miller, the bill cleared a House subcommittee 5-1.

The Norfolk Police Union supports the measure.

“We have seen situations around the country where there is a rush to the officers being presumed guilty before the investigation has even been completed," Union President David Lefleur said. "This bill does take into the consideration the safety of the officers involved.”

It will now go before the House General Laws Committee.