Tampa Bay Times by Tony Marrero
February 6, 2020
TAMPA — Shortly after two officers shot a man last month, Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan approached them with a request.
Dugan told them he wanted to release their names after they wounded the 34-year-old man who brandished a handgun. That used to be standard practice when an officer was involved in a shooting or other use-of-force incident. But because the man they shot threatened them with a gun, Dugan said, the officers had a right to privacy under a state constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.
The officers initially declined. At that point, Dugan said, his hand’s hands were tied by a law that he doesn’t think should apply to officers acting in the line of duty.
“There is a sense of frustration,” Dugan said in an interview two days after the Jan. 13 shooting. “I do think we should be able to release this information, but I have to respect their rights under Marsy’s Law.”
In the year since Marsy’s Law took effect, law enforcement agencies in Florida have cited the measure as they withhold names of officers who use force on the job, in some cases lethally.