The police out in Arizona are pretty ridiculous. I’ve seen some pretty loopy things in Phoenix and heard a ton of stories about how vicious the authorities can be in that desert city… but this is absolutely insane:
In what should send a frightening chill down the spine of every blogger, writer, journalist and First Amendment advocate in the United States, Phoenix police raided the home of a blogger who has been highly critical of the department.
Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, said the officers confiscated three computers, routers, modems, hard drives, memory cards and everything necessary to continue blogging.
Pataky started his blog a month before his own harassment trial to rant against the police. He felt he had been wrongfully charged and ultimately a judge agreed.
After the charges were dropped Pataky was going to shut down the site when he began receiving tips from people within the Phoenix Police Department about police wrongdoing. The site has been highly critical of the Phoenix Police Department ever since – they have between 50 and 100 active and retired police sources.
Now in what appears to be an act of retaliation the Phoenix Police have confiscated his belongings and charged him with both “petty theft” and “computer tampering with the intent to harass.” No affidavits have been produced to establish probable cause for the charges or the search and seizure.
Unless there is some deeper story it seems that Phoenix Police are trying to terrorize Pataky into ceasing his criticism.
I recommend reading the whole story over at “Photography is Not a Crime.”
If the Phoenix Police have no substantive evidence of real wrongdoing on the part of Pataky, this is absolutely unacceptable.