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Missouri lawmaker tried to restrict public info on police shootings just last year

Much of the nation’s attention has been turned on the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., this week as civilian protesters and police officers have clashed in a hail of flash-bang grenades, tear gas and riot gear.

The protests began after a still-unnamed St. Louis County police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed and apparently walking away from the officer who pulled the trigger.

Although police have tried to protect the identity of the officers involved, they will eventually have to file a police report about the incident — and all the questionably legal incidents that have occurred in the past few days as cops have harassed, assaulted and arrested protesters. That report will be a public record and, eventually, we will know the name of the man who killed Michael Brown.

But if state Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, had his way, that would not be the case.

Roorda introduced a bill last year to amend the state’s Sunshine Law to prevent the public from obtaining “any records and documents pertaining to police shootings … if they contain the name of any officer who did the shooting.”

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