Sheriff’s office says deputy’s identities protected by law meant for public

A law intended to protect crime victims is now being used to protect the identities of law enforcement officers.

Two Charlotte County deputies shot a man after he fired at them, and the deputy’s names have been redacted from the reports because of Marsy’s Law.

In November, 61% of Floridians voted in support of Marsy’s Law during the midterms. It gave more rights to crime victims, including privacy and protection.

“In this instance I think the sheriff’s office has gone a little too far in defining what a victim is,” said Pamella Seay, an FGCU criminal justice professor.

CCSO won’t identify the two deputies who shot and killed an armed man on McKinley terrace in Englewood last week. The sheriff’s office claims, the deputies are victims in this situation, and their identities are protected under the law.

According to the sheriff’s office, “The deputies are listed as victims of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and as such are protected from release under Marsy’s Law.”

Seay said Marsy’s law was designed to protect the public not law enforcement.

“They are protected otherwise from having certain information disclosed but certainly not their names,” Seay said.

But the sheriff’s office insists the deputies are victims of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And it’s keeping the identities of the deputies private for now.

“The sheriff’s office, I think, went too far in applying Marsy’s law to the situation,” Seay said.

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Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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