A San Antonio newspaper that threatened to publish police officers’ names and addresses is backing off the controversial plan following backlash from the public and members of law enforcement.
San Antonio Observer Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Zarriello told News4SanAntonio on Sunday the weekly tabloid had no intention on following through with the threat. She said her intent was to “make an officer think twice before shooting so fast and killing an unarmed person.”
The Observer had been inundated with phone calls and voicemails, Zarriello said. Some of the callers had made death threats, she said. Zarriello’s initial comments came at a news conference after the death of Antronie Scott, an unarmed man shot and killed by San Antonio police on Thursday. She said the Observer was “looking into the future prospects of publicizing the names and addresses of all San Antonio Police Department officers in order to protect our community.”
Zarriello had said Scott was “unjustly murdered.” She described his hands as being in “a position of surrender” when he was shot. Police at the scene said Scott, who was wanted for drugs and gun possession, quickly turned around with something in his hand, which cops mistook for a gun. It turned out to be a cell phone. Officials are investigating the incident.
“Like Ku Klux Klansman with hoods, [officers] do everything they can in order to protect their identities for fear of being brought to justice,” Zarriello said during the news conference, according to KENS 5. “Just as the names and addresses of sex offenders are publicized in order to protect the public from their wicked behavior, we feel that our community has the right to the exact same level of protection.”