2013/05/25: LOIS HENRY: Why officers' names must sometimes be disclosed

Discussion in 'Media Coverage & Other Related Materials' started by M, May 27, 2013.

  1. M

    M Muckraker Staff Member

    Apparently Donny "Deputy Dog" Youngblood can't take the heat and has vowed not to release the officers' names the next time his thugs beat someone to death. He's already withheld the name of his on-staff killer in a May 16th shooting in Oildale.

    He's claiming his big, strong bullies, who collectively since 2005 have beaten three people to death and have been involved in a couple other questionable deaths, have received death threats. What a pity!

    Bakersfield Californian (5/25/2013): LOIS HENRY: Why officers' names must sometimes be disclosed

    OK, there could be a rare case where naming an officer could cause harm, such as undercover officers.

    "But that has to be clearly articulated by the department," said Jim Ewert, a First Amendment attorney for the California Newspaper Publisher's Association. "It can't just be, 'Oh well, we think it could be dangerous.' That's not enough."

    Issuing a blanket ban on naming officers involved in deaths is one step closer to creating the kind of secret police you find in dictatorships, he said.

    The founders of the Constitution went to great lengths to keep that from happening.

    But case law has become muddled on this issue, which Ewert said is giving police agencies wiggle room to withhold officers' names.

    A 1997 case, New York Times vs. Superior Court in Ventura, clearly spelled out that the names of officers involved in shootings must be released to the public.

    [The conclusion illustrates DonnyYoungblood's total disconnect with reality:]

    I asked him how that squared with his edict to withhold the names of officers involved in major incidents.

    "Can you tell me how withholding a name has something to do with not being transparent?" he asked. "I don't make that same nexus that you might make."

    Clearly, not.

    Youngblood is, essentially, demanding that we trust him.

    Considering he's making that demand through a brick wall of his own construction, it's hard to hear him.

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