Florida court rules that police officers involved in shootings can remain anonymous if they're 'victims' of a crime

According to a ruling from Florida's the 1st District Court of Appeal this Tuesday, municipalities cannot make public the names of police who shoot citizens if the police officers themselves were crime victims -- something that is almost always the case in police shootings, Axios reports.

The ruling was born from a lawsuit filed by two Tallahassee police officers who were involved in separate fatal shooting incidents, who argue that their identities shouldn't be released to the public.

According to the court, laws that protect crime victims should not exclude police officers.

"The court said keeping an officer's identity private wouldn't stop an internal affairs investigation or grand jury proceeding, and wouldn't stop a state attorney from deciding the officer was not a victim and bringing charges," Axios reported.

The Florida Police Benevolent Association, which sued the city of Tallahassee to block the release of the names, said that police shouldn't be excluded from Marsy's Law privacy protections.

"Both of these officers were threatened with deadly force, and they had to make the horrible decision to use deadly force in defense of themselves," said PBA attorney Stephen Webster to the Tallahassee Democrat.

But not everyone agrees.

"Today's decision was an unfortunate setback for police accountability," said attorney Mark Caramanica, who is representing news organizations. "We respectfully disagree with the court's reasoning and are considering our options."