Pro-Cop Group Opposes Newspaper Policy
If a Bismarck policeman uses his firearm in the line of duty, does the public have the right to know his name?That’s the question under debate this week by supporters and opponents of the police and the press.
A local group called “Back the Blue” has expressed opposition to the Bismarck Tribune’s publication of the name of a policeman involved in a recent shooting.
The incident happened last month at a local motel. The office, answering an unrelated call was attacked by a man with a knife. Unable to Taser the man into submission, he drew his service weapon and shot the man in the abdomen.
The attacker was hospitalized, and the office was treated and released for his injuries. The incident has been under investigation.
The Tribune printed the officer’s name last week in a story about the investigation.
Supporters of “Back the Blue” say the Tribune acted inappropriately in revealing the officer’s name. Some have invoked “Marsy’s law” in claiming the policeman has the right to privacy.
The Tribune says the name was acquired from a court document that is publicly available.