“If we were in a position where there was a court order not to use his name, we’d be having an entirely different conversation,” he said.
Police often release names and photos of crime suspects to the public in hopes of encouraging witnesses to come forward.
A spokeswoman for the Toronto Police Service said the agency doesn’t have a position on Molloy’s suggestion, but noted that officers look to legislation and procedure when “determining how and when to release identifying information about suspects, accused persons, witnesses and victims.”
The movement to not name people accused of serious crimes has gained steam in the three years since Minassian carried out his van attack.
Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the media to avoid mentioning the name of the man who carried out a mass killing in Nova Scotia.
“Do not give him the gift of infamy,” Trudeau said the day after the April 2020 rampage, urging people to instead focus on the victims and their loved ones.
That call echoed a vow from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in March 2019, that she would never say the name of a man who opened fire on a Christchurch mosque, killing 50 people.
Molloy’s move pleased those most affected by Minassian’s actions, including the family members of some of his victims.
“I haven’t used the name of the perpetrator since it happened for that reason,” said Nick D’Amico, whose sister Anne Marie D’Amico was killed in the attack. “We can get fame in positive ways. We don’t have to go down that road.”
Elwood Delaney, whose grandmother Dorothy Sewell died in the attack, said he plans to go back and edit Minassian’s name out of Facebook posts he’s made in the past.
“The more he talks about what he wanted out of it, he definitely wanted fame,” Delaney said. “I will respect (Molloy’s) wish and not name him and call him John Doe.”
This content was originally published here.