Prosecutor won’t give officers’ names in police shootings

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – One prosecutor in South Carolina says he will no longer release the names of police officers who shoot at people unless they’re criminally charged.

Police shooting experts say Solicitor Walt Wilkins’ policy for Greenville and Pickens counties is unusual and runs counter to the transparency many people want in police shootings.

Wilkins told The Greenville News he isn’t releasing names because officers were being threatened and they deserve the same right to privacy as other citizens when they don’t face criminal charges.

South Carolina Press Association attorney Taylor Smith says police officers are public employees whose admirable duties still must face public scrutiny.

A 2004 South Carolina Supreme Court ruling found police officers are public employees and their behavior is of vital public interest that outweighs the right to privacy.

Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com

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