Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has until Monday to decide whether to sign or veto a bill requiring state agencies to keep confidential for 60 days the identities of law enforcement officers involved in deadly or serious shootings, reports the New York Times. The bill, which passed the State Senate by a large margin on Tuesday, follows what supporters said were threats against Arizona officers after two recent shootings as well as concerns raised by the controversial fatal police shooting last year in Ferguson, Mo.
Since Ferguson, the issue of officer identification has become “one of the most emotional issues in American policing,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. The Arizona bill has stirred passionate debate. Its proponents, including many police officers, say it will protect officers and their families from harassment or death threats. Opponents call it an unnecessary step that will deepen suspicion of the police among minority groups. Wexler said police chiefs in general want to be transparent because they know that secrecy makes it seem as if they have something to hide. Proponents said the Arizona law would provide for a cooling-off period after shootings and possibly prevent disasters.