Members of press file motion for release of officer's name in McDade shooting

Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

June 10, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A new motion in the case regarding the release of the name of a Tallahassee Police officer involved in the Tony McDade shooting has been filed by members of the press.

The motion to intervene names the First Amendment Foundation, the Florida Press Association, Gannett Co ("properties include the Tallahassee Democrat"), the Miami Herald Media Company, and the New York Times Company.

The group is "opposing any request by Petitioners to prevent public access to public records identifying the Petitioner John Doe police officer" under Marsy's Law.

The motion says recent events show that records related to use of deadly force by police are of "crucial public importance for news reporting."

The PBA (the "Petitioners") and the unnamed officer involved in the May 27 Tony McDade shooting filed an emergency injunction on June 1 to keep that officer's name under wraps.

That motion says the officer qualifies as a victim under Marsy's Law because police say McDade pointed a firearm at the officer, making him a victim of aggravated assault.

On June 4, the PBA's motion was denied; the City of Tallahassee said it would release the officer's name on Monday, June 8.

However, a meeting between the City and PBA on Saturday, June 6, led to a compromise; the City gave the PBA a deadline of Friday, June 12, to file additional briefs making their case.

The motion filed on Wednesday says public records requests for the name of the officer involved in the McDade shooting have gone unanswered.

It says, "The News Media file this motion to intervene to oppose such anticipated relief because -- in order to hold law enforcement accountable to the people-- the identities of those police officers involved in on-duty shootings must not be kept secret."

The News Media ask the court for an order granting their request to intervene, and permitting them to be heard at any related hearing.