A proposed Virginia law would make it illegal for police chiefs to identify officers involved in force incidents that are under investigation.  

Del. Jackson H. Miller, R-Manassas, a former police officer, is sponsoring House Bill 2043, which would forbid a police chief or any public official from naming an officer who discharges a gun, or is under investigation for using force, until an investigation is complete, unless the investigation lasts longer than six months.

Naming an officer beforehand or providing information to the public that would identify the officer would become a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

The bill cleared a House subcommittee 5-1 and was scheduled to be heard this week in the House General Laws Committee, the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Miller said the bill would protect police and “standardize” a policy for identifying officers after an incident.

The state NAACP and the Virginia Press Association criticized the proposal.



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