Blogger claims police search of home was a threat
Police officers accused of drunken driving. A female officer's alleged promiscuity and infidelity. A commander whose critics labeled his son a child molester.
Jeff Pataky said he uses negative complaints and anonymous tips to fuel his blogging crusade against Phoenix police. A headline on his Web site suggests rewards would be provided for "dirt" on police indiscretions.
Pataky, a former software sales and marketing executive who now focuses his energy shoveling content on www.badphoenixcops.com, said he believes his online criticism of the department - along with past criticisms of police investigations - led officers to serve a search warrant at his home last week.
Police officials said Wednesday that a Phoenix detective prompted the investigation after complaining about harassment, though they declined further comment.
Pataky said he felt the investigation was a response to a lawsuit he filed on Monday in U.S. District Court saying he was maliciously prosecuted by police in 2007 after his ex-wife accused him of harassment, a case later dropped. In his lawsuit he's asking for an unspecified amount for damages. City officials declined to comment on pending litigation.
Pataky's blog is known in law-enforcement circles for its off-color language that, according to the blogger, is aimed at Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, Maricopa County Andrew Thomas and other public officials.
As usual we have to be careful not to jump to conclusions. Maybe the man searched is doing something wrong and the search is warranted. With that said, it is hard to see anything in the article that says this is nothing less than harassment.
We discussed this here on this blog a while back, what constitutes appropriate blogging? Does the man have an obligation to be truthful in his blogging? What are the limits on blogging?
Whatever the answers to these questions, searching a person's house and confiscating their equipment for writing an unfavorable, or even untruthful, blog is nothing short of police state tactics.