A bill designed to keep the names of police officers shielded after a police involved shooting until a thorough investigation is completed, in this case, 30 days. The state Senate passed the bill on October 26th. The House approved the bill on October 27th – both with outstanding veto-proof numbers. That is until this week.
It’s no secret that the ACLU has been pressuring Wolf into vetoing the bill, using words like “transparency”, “accountability,” and “community relations.” However, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the bill “does little to further our efforts to improve police and community relations.” In fact there is strong belief by the police community that without HB 1538 in place, it could endanger police officers who are involved in shootings; by releasing their names to the public, it could endanger their families as well.
Wolf’s vetoing of HB 1538 comes amidst a reign of violence against police all over the country. Five officers have been shot, one fatally, another officer was killed during a foot pursuit in Nassau County, Florida, and as of last night, a Detroit Police Officer is fighting for his life after yet another apparent attempt to target and murder police.
Philadelphia Lodge # 5 Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby did not mince words about Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of HB 1538. In a press release to the Lodge #5 members, he stated, “In a very disappointing act of abject of political cowardice, Governor Wolf today vetoed HB 1538 at a time of widespread deadly assaults on police, Wolf displayed a callous disregard for the safety of Philadelphia Police Officers by spinelessly caving to the howling mob of anti-police hate groups. Sadly, once again a politician has endangered police in order to protect his own thin political hide.”