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Shield officers' identities

September 27, 2008

Re "Case closed, but why?," editorial, Sept. 23

It seems that The Times is finally acknowledging that officers who are wrongly accused of misconduct can face significant repercussions on the job. But how you use this newfound insight to argue that the identities of these officers should be publicized is nothing less than baffling.

In your own words, you ask, "Are they the right officers to punish? Are they being unfairly scapegoated for administrative bungling?" You then surmise that the best way to get to the bottom of these questions is to flaunt their names before the public.

If these officers are nothing more than scapegoats, as you fear, publishing their names under another Times headline will ruin any chance of recovering from the damage to their careers and personal lives they have already suffered. Your questions make the very argument the state Supreme Court used when it ruled that peace officers were entitled to privacy when internal complaints against them are being investigated.

Tim Sands

Los Angeles

The writer is president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

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