Law-enforcement officer; public release of identifying information, etc. (HB2043)

Introduced By

Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) with support from co-patron Del. Chris Collins (R-Winchester)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Public release of identifying information of a law-enforcement officer during and following an official investigation; penalty.Prohibits any public official, public employee, or person acting on behalf of a public official or public employee from releasing to the public any identifying information of a law-enforcement officer who is the subject of an official investigation that involves the discharge of a firearm or use of force by such law-enforcement officer during the performance of his official duties prior to the conclusion of such official investigation or the conclusion of the first six months of such investigation. The bill requires that such law-enforcement officer's name be released to the public if he is charged with a criminal offense as a result of the official investigation. The bill authorizes the law-enforcement officer's name to be withheld if the law-enforcement officer is not charged with a criminal offense as a result of the official investigation and the release of his name would create a risk of harm to such law-enforcement officer or his family. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill makes corresponding changes in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17103786D
01/10/2017Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/16/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB2043)
01/16/2017Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #2
01/26/2017Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (5-Y 1-N)
02/02/2017Committee substitute printed 17104900D-H1
02/02/2017Reported from General Laws with substitute (11-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2017Read first time
02/06/2017Motion to refer to committee agreed to
02/06/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/07/2017Left in Courts of Justice


Bryant Dameron writes:

I hope this measure will not pass. I understand the good intention of protecting officers and their families while investigations are ongoing, and I am sure Jackson Miller will have some detailed example to recount where innocent people were threatened or harmed as a result of an officer's name being released. BUT, statistics and information on officer involved shootings are already hard enough to find. The Washington Post estimates that there are about 1,000 civilians killed by police officers each year. From 2005-2015 only 13 law enforcement officers were convicted of murder or manslaughter. 0.13%. I am sure the vast majority of these shootings are justified, but the number of convictions is strangely low. The system of official investigation is obviously not working and until it is fixed we need more openness and accountability. This bill sounds like it will further protect a flawed system.

Jaime Petrasek writes:

This bill should never have gotten through the subcommittee. This bill targets minorities and is an abomination. The system is flawed, not all police are "good", and this perpetuates a broken system.