That’s what is claimed by Jeff Pataky after his home was searched by Arizona police and his computers, records, wireless router, and even his cable modem (presumably to cut off his internet access so as to quit blogging) were confiscated. Pataky runs the quite amazing Bad Phoenix Cops blog that is critical of the Phoenix police force to put it mildly. Some of that blog and its accusations really have to be seen to be believed, quite amazing stuff. They now have a press release up that provides some shocking (if true, remember this is all one sided)
In a retaliatory measure and while the Notice of Claim was still pending, the Phoenix Police raided the Plaintiffs home with a search warrant, unlawfully imprisoned a guest and refused them access to counsel. During the search, officers seized all documents pertaining to the District Court lawsuit, including privileged communications with counsel and all recordings and evidence relating to the District Court case. Seizure of these documents and communications are in violation of plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
Terry Heaton looks at the First Amendment outrages in the City’s defense of the incident.
But here’s what really bothers me. In justifying the raid, Phoenix Assistant Chief Andy Anderson called Pataky’s site “an unaccredited grassroots Web site.” Um, Chief Anderson, who “accredits” web sites? This is the most chilling part of the whole thing to me, because the police and the courts in Phoenix have taken it upon themselves to determine who qualifies as “the press.” And here’s the thing: anybody with an ounce of ink in their blood knows that Pataky deserves First Amendment protection, but they’re unlikely to say it publicly, because “the (professional) press” thinks of itself as a special class of people and have railed for years against the likes of Pataky.
Pretty outrageous stuff, but all I can think is that if Pataky’s blog delt with an election candidate/campagn then he might see his right to free speech go out the window thanks to Campaign Finance Reform laws.
6 Responses to “Using a Police Search as a Free Speech Threat”
Trackback URI | Comments RSS