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Phoenix Police Seize PCs of a Blogger Critical of the Department

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the check-and-mate dept.

Censorship 515

logicassasin sends in a story about a blogger in Phoenix, AZ, who runs a site that is critical of the local police department. The police recently raided his home and seized his computer hardware. "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. The 41-year-old software engineer said they also confiscated numerous personal files and documents relating to a pending lawsuit he has against the department alleging harassment — which he says makes it obvious the raid was an act of retaliation." A local publication quotes Pataky saying, "We have heard internally from our police sources that they purposefully did this to stop me... They took my cable modem and wireless router. Anyone worth their salt knows nothing is stored in the cable modem."

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515 comments

Cable modem... (5, Funny)

unts (754160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458033)

Anyone worth their salt knows nothing is stored in the cable modem.

Which is exactly why I've stuck a flash drive in mine that I can run a USB cable to when I want to do some "backups to my modem".
 
Wink wink.

Look on the bright side... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458223)

He didn't criticize Barry. He'd be in some unknown prison for that.

Re:Cable modem... (2, Funny)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458225)

More interestingly, is the use of the phrase; "Anyone worth their salt."

This is a very old phrase, originally used when salt was a very, very expensive commodity. Roman soldiers were typically paid for their duties in salt. So a good soldier was 'worth their salt.' (Obligatory Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary [wikipedia.org] )

So back to the topic on hand. I don't think this phrase is appropriate here, because we are taking geek assumptions (knowing that a router/modem do not store data long-term (other than configuration data, and potentially a log file)) and comparing it to a soldier who is worth his pay.

These are cops, we should use a different phrase like:

"Not showing up for work on the day of the idiotic raid; Chief Wiggims saved his own bacon through incompetence."

Re:Cable modem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458611)

mod parent OT

Phoenix has done screwed up. (5, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458055)

This guy's obviously already been in court. ACLU time, and even up to the supreme court. The Phoenix police department is about to get a federal raping.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458115)

Unfortunately, it seems that if you want to blog and say anything remotely negative about the Phoenix police department, you better move out of Phoenix first.

This is tyrannical, a clear abuse of power. Everyone aware and responsible for this farce and the reason for the seizure needs to be jailed.

Apparently the standards and scrutiny imposed to ensure "probable cause" for a search before a warrant can be issued (or before a search can be done) aren't high enough.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (2, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458163)

I moved out of Phoenix 12 years ago, but I never actually had problems with them aside from 1 traffic ticket the whole time I was there. I did have to call them to, my truck was broken into, I was actually surprised they finger printed when they were obviously dealing with a junky stealing stereo's for a fix.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (4, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458215)

Um, the whole fucking county is crooked [examiner.com] and they are bad at their jobs [goldwaterinstitute.org] . I would not step foot into that county if you paid me a 1000 bucks, well also because that is where all my ex-gf live.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (4, Interesting)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458455)

If they paid you $1,000, they'd stop you there and seize the money for being "probable drug-related"

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (2, Funny)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458597)

I'm beginning to think the world is one big Milgram experiment...

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458131)

god i hope so, fuckers deserve it really hard.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458253)

It's surprising that the police didn't realise that this would almost certainly look very bad for them, especially if there is already a lawsuit and the took files specifically pertaining to it.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (1)

eskayp (597995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458691)

Individuals or organizations that are given authority over others tend to become more authoritarian to the point of arrogance.
It may be law enforcement saying 'We ARE the law so do whatever we say or else'.
Or it may be a nanny-state entitlement service saying 'We are hurting you for your own good'.
That arrogance, if unchecked, builds to the point of atrocity and public outrage.
Then corrective action HAS to be taken by a higher authority.
But what if there is no higher authority?
What if you are Josef Stalin?
Or Kim Jong-il?
Or God?

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458275)

Assuming the guy didn't deserve it. You don't know why they did it. All you know is that this guy claims they are singling him out. If you have ever seen a police interrogation or a guilty criminal when he gets a little face time, EVERY FUCKING PERSON ON THE PLANET IS INNOCENT. EVERYONE claims they didn't do anything, guilty or not. Why the fuck do you idiots assume he is telling the truth? Innocent until proven guilt, no argument there, but no where does that statement say that you BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY until proven guilty.

I hate to tell you this but most of the time when you get attacked on this level, its because you did something wrong in the first place.

For all you know they 'blogging' could be a front for a local child porn ring.

Only on slashdot with a bunch of paranoid 12 year olds would the first reaction to be that he was completely innocent and the cops were wrong.

Another hint, if you start poking a sleeping bear with a stick, the bear eventually will wake up and eat your ass for breakfast. I suspect his blogging resulted in roughly the same result.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (2, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458355)

Begging the question, IMO. "See, he's acting innocent. Only the most hardened of criminals act innocent when confronted with their guilt, so he MUST be guilty of something!"

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458435)

Begging the question, IMO. "See, he's acting innocent. Only the most hardened of criminals act innocent when confronted with their guilt, so he MUST be guilty of something!"

No. I think the argument goes something like this: An innocent person will proclaim his innocence. Most guilty people also proclaim their innocence.

The point is, you can't tell anything about the guilt or innocence of a person based on their statements regarding their own innocence. The statement is essentially meaningless.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458389)

Another hint, if you start poking a sleeping bear with a stick, the bear eventually will wake up and eat your ass for breakfast. I suspect his blogging resulted in roughly the same result.

I have an anti-authority complex which basically makes me mad at any larger entity that sets the rules then can hurt me if I break them. I tend to always want to poke the bear for the simple reason that I don't think its fair that the bear has more power.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (4, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458413)

For all you know they 'blogging' could be a front for a local child porn ring.

Because I know when I'm doing something very illegal, I'm going to draw as much attention to myself from the authorities as possible...

I think your scenario is kind of unlikely.

If the Phoenix police don't have a very good reason for this raid, the blogger probably won't need a job ever again after he sues the pants off them.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458547)

Only on slashdot with a bunch of paranoid 12 year olds would the first reaction to be that he was completely innocent and the cops were wrong.

Actually, no, or at least, I hope not. In case you haven't noticed, this took place in the USA, where people are by law presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458375)

Yes, this is the Streisand effect on steroids. The dirty cops and the people who would otherwise be embarrassed are obviously trying to find the leaky cops. But the more of a ruckus they stir up, the more people who are going to notice.

This is what brought U.S. Federal attention to Dallas.

An interesting thing though. Village Voice Media (formerly New Times before they bought VVM and took their name) is HQ'd in Phoenix... They own papers in several major markets which includes Dallas. I haven't checked yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to find a story or two surrounding any police corruption in Phoenix in the New Times publication in Phoenix.

Re:Phoenix has done screwed up. (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458513)

Didn't they raid the New Times offices too in the 90's?

No one left to speak for me (5, Insightful)

MinistryOfTruthiness (1396923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458063)

When the Police came for the bloggers,
I remained silent;
I was not a blogger.

Then they locked up the rich,
I remained silent;
I was not rich.

Then they came for the gun owners,
I did not speak out;
I was not a gun owner.

Then they came for the press,
I did not speak out;
I was not a member of the press.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

Re:No one left to speak for me (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458123)

Good thing people are talking about this, huh?

Talk all you like... (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458675)

Maybe it will work out better for you than it did for him.

OT/posting to undo mod (1, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458127)

Accidentally modded you wrongly, posting to undo

Re:No one left to speak for me (0, Offtopic)

Romancer (19668) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458141)

Who the hell modded this "off topic"?

Seriously, can you read?

Stand up for ALL peoples rights or they will not be there when YOU need them.

Re:No one left to speak for me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458227)

Then they locked up the rich,

Fail.

Re:No one left to speak for me (1)

MinistryOfTruthiness (1396923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458423)

Thank you for proving the point.

Re:No one left to speak for me (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458449)

Hahahah they came for the bloggers.

Are you fucking kidding me?

You don't even know what this guy did/didn't do, or why they took his shit, and you assume he was innocent and didn't deserve it?

Lets make this use an evolution analogy for this, since most slashdotters perfer that religion.

We have you, a cage at a zoo, and a sleeping bear. The bear represents the cops, you prepresent the blogger.

Now when you get into the cage, of your own free will, and then proceed to poke the bear repeatedly with a pointy stick. He'll eventually wake up and eat you for breakfast.

Now any normal person would say 'Duh, saw that one coming'. And I for one would have to thank the bear for working together with evolution to take your dumb ass out of the gene pool.

I don't care how right or wrong you think you or he is, if you continually fuck with cops, you're a god damn idiot if you don't think they will eventually get tired of it and do something about it. Thats true for any one, not just cops. Fuck with the girl scouts long enough and they'll probably end up beating your ass too.

But only in 'the free world' do we, as humans, think that there are no repercussions for our actions.

You neither no what the guy did in the first place, what he said on his little blog, nor why the took his stuff.

You're assuming the cops are guilty of committing a crime with absolutely no idea at all what happened. All you know is what some other bloggers wrote, GOOD source of info there, no bias or anything.

Get a fucking grip, $10 says this guy did something illegal as shit and is just a bumbling idiot.

$20 says the guy is a fucking moron regardless of what illegal activities he did.

$50 says you're an idiot for jumping to conclusions with no facts what so ever. In America, people, ALL people are innocent until proven guilty, and you've already decided the cops are guilty and done so based on some story written by one of the accused.

Let me make it better. I caught you fondling 12 year old girls last week, now you're going to jail where you will promptly be beaten and raped.

I have just as much credibility as the people who are writing about what happened to this guy, so there for you (and the rest of slashdot) must assume you are guilty. The police will be at your door shortly.

Twit.

Re:No one left to speak for me (2, Insightful)

MinistryOfTruthiness (1396923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458565)

I understand your point about jumping to conclusions of innocence, but at the same time, I'll assume he's innocent until he's proven otherwise, thank you very much. Attitudes like that are exactly the reason that there's very little outrage over abuses of power. People are so cynical that they figure the guy MUST have done something bad, or that it's a foregone conclusion that the "bear" will wake up and eat people who irritate them.

The fact is that irritating the police is not illegal -- and never should be -- and, if that's the extent of his offense, they really need to publicly own up to misconduct. The "bear" is not supposed to be able to eat people who poke them with sticks. We as a society put very strict limitations on the power of authorities -- doubly so on those who weild the power to incarcerate and kill people.

The articles they confiscated point to it being exactly as described. Now yes, it's possible he's all loaded up with kiddie porn, is evading taxes, and possibly administering a botnet, but I haven't heard anything about any of that.

The freedom of speech is not the freedom to say "fuck" in public places. It's to limit the government from taking retaliatory actions to your speech. It's the first line of defense against tyranny.

Re:No one left to speak for me (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458591)

This is America though, The government (Police in this case) are supposed to be afraid of the the people; not the other way around. The Police should not be poking the bear that is the general public. Obviously the police must have done something to this guy to make him feel the need to start and anti department blog.

There is probably more to the story on both sides and more than enough stupidity and short sightedness to go around. This guy is correct though about the cable modem. In what way could the modem possibly be evidence? Its not any more then a photo copy of his cable bill would be if they needed to show he had internet access, in fact the later would be better proof.

There actions were obviously putative! Just like the raid on that colo where almost all the equipment was seized no matter who the owner was. This should not be tolerated! I as F**K the Phoenix Police!

Re:No one left to speak for me (1)

samriel (1456543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458689)

This is America though, The government (Police in this case) are supposed to be afraid of the the people; not the other way around. The Police should not be poking the bear that is the general public. Obviously the police must have done something to this guy to make him feel the need to start and anti department blog.

The police can do pretty well anything they want anymore, because they get warrants for it from judges that they likely have connections with. Or bribery.

This guy is correct though about the cable modem. In what way could the modem possibly be evidence? Its not any more then a photo copy of his cable bill would be if they needed to show he had internet access, in fact the later would be better proof.

I have a feeling this was done in some kind of retarded attempt to stop him from ever being on the internet again. Take his modem, that'll show him.

Re:No one left to speak for me (1)

gorehog (534288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458499)

Yeah, this should never have happened. Unfortunately too many people stood silent on similar issues for the past ten years. When war protesters and anti-Bush people were being arrested and held without reason all over this country there was no real outrage. When the Patriot act was passed to "protect" us there was no real outrage. now the groundwork for real fascism is in place and it is happening.

The more I read your post the more ironic it sounds. Bloggers have been getting arrested and raided for years. Bernie Madoff and his cronies committed real crimes, what rich people are being arrested without cause? I have not heard of any new gun legislation pending, just fear of it. The free press s becoming a thing of the past because people are no longer buying independet newspapers, not because of government interference. In fact, there has been no one with influence defending individual rights for a long time. It's not like these rights are disappearing, we lost them a long time ago.

Backfired! (5, Insightful)

Tryle (1159503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458071)

This is what happens when panic'd decisions are made. The police force thinks they can go in and silence the whole thing with a BS warrant and put an end to it, only for the story to be picked up nation wide and now they're drawing way more attention than ever.

Serves them right. This looks like a clear cut abuse of power by the department and now that the story is national, hopefully some heads will roll.

Re:Backfired! (5, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458195)

The real question is, who's the judge who signed the warrant?

If the guy's done nothing wrong, the department either fabricated information in requesting the warrant, in which case heads should roll, or the judge is incompetent, in which case the judge should be fired.

Re:Backfired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458229)

Fortunately for all involved, nobody will hear about it. Oh wait, Slashdot...

Re:Backfired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458305)

Playing devil's advocate, the blogger could have done something bad we don't know about. It's probably best to hear both sides of the story on this one.

Re:Backfired! (1)

samriel (1456543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458709)

Playing devil's advocate, the blogger could have done something bad we don't know about. It's probably best to hear both sides of the story on this one.

If the police had/have a legitimate reason for what they did, NOW is the time for them to be johnny-on-the-spot with it. The outrage is already public. Even if they have some kind of retarded reason for it, that's going to sound better than some kind of stunned/malicious silence that usually follows these types of things.

IDNRTFA

Re:Backfired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458377)

It is a unhappy situation that the local law courts and Judges in many places are just an extension of the Police and District Attorney's office. When have you heard of a warrant being denied. How often do you hear of the Police or District Attorney's office getting slapped down? The Cops and DA always get what they want and often get away with actual murder.

Re:Backfired! (1)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458621)

It happens on Law and Order: SVU all the time.

Re:Backfired! (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458635)

When have you heard of a warrant being denied.

Happens all the time. Usually its a non event which is why you don't hear about it. Often just because they can't get a warrant then and there does not mean the investigation is over. It just means they need to find more cause. Shouting all over town that their warrant to search X or seize Y was refused would prevent them from being able to continue observation because the potential offenders would be tipped off.

Re:Backfired! (4, Informative)

McGruber (1417641) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458421)

The real question is, who's the judge who signed the warrant?

FTA: "Maricopa County Judge Gary Donahoe (http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/JudicialBiographies/Judges/judicialBio.asp?jdgID=19&jdgUSID=121) signed the search warrant"

Re:Backfired! (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458447)

If the guy's done nothing wrong, the department either fabricated information in requesting the warrant, in which case heads should roll, or the judge is incompetent, in which case the judge should be fired.

How do you fire a rubber stamp?

Re:Backfired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458541)

in which case the judge should be fired...

...out of a cannon...

Re:Backfired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458259)

The Phoenix law apparently never heard of the "Striesand" effect... Phoenix PD epic FAIL!!

The real question is (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458075)

How long before people understand the Streisand Effect??

This just seems like bullying(who started it and why is something else). Do cops not know of internet cafe's? freedom of speech? or are people just willfully ignorant of reality around them. Like the town that tossed out google streetview. If I close my eyes the bad people can't see me cause i can't see them?

one day I hope humanity grows up? unfortunately I will have been long since dead.

Re:The real question is (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458171)

I am so glad I do not live in Phoenix anymore. My friend who has HIV was on his way to the doctors when he got pulled over and arrested for a suspicion of a DUI and had to spend 24 hours without his medicine. They laughed at him in his holding cell and said things like, "Cold enough for you faggot?" when he started shivering from lack of his meds. If you are considering raising a family there remember Phoenix is one of the #1 places in the country for shooting underage suspects, often unarmed. Almost no one ever gets prosecuted for police misconduct there. Scary fucking place.

Re:The real question is (5, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458211)

How long before people understand the Streisand Effect??

Perhaps it is too soon, but a search on Google news suggests that this story is getting little attention in news media.

Re:The real question is (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458511)

I think that has something to do with the media. They seem to be going down the road where they think something like this isn't news, isn't important, and nobody in America would care.

Re:The real question is (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458677)

Perhaps its because no one else is making retarded assumptions.

Not everyone just out right assumes that cops are bad and that bloggers are just perfect angles.

The rest of the world looks at the story and says 'meh, nothing of interest here yet as there are no actual facts, its probably nothing'

If something comes out that prove him to be correct, we'll hear all sorts of shit about it. Until there are some facts, it'll just be a bunch of retarded comments on other no name blogs that no one that matters or doesnt' wear a tin foil hat cares about.

Re:The real question is (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458475)

Humanity will grow up and idiots like this guy will stop taunting people who can make their life a living hell...

I hope you are right. But I doubt it will happen anytime soon, as you have yet to figure it out yourself.

Bit the trollbait so hard... (1)

samriel (1456543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458725)

Humanity will grow up and idiots like this guy will stop taunting people who can make their life a living hell...

Why are you blaming the victim? By your logic, the Blacks should've stopped trying to escape from slavery. Women should've just gotten over the whole suffrage and rape-within-marriage ordeal.

Your logic is bad, and you should feel bad.

Re:The real question is (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458545)

The problem with the Streisand Effect is that it's only true when we hear about it. And more than likely only true with big names. I'd be willing to bet that it's more often the case the people *are* silenced. The percentages of stories that get out is probably very small. I'd be interested to see some study that gives an idea of numbers. How many "like cases" does this article of the Phoenix Police confiscating all of this computer equipment represent? Is this the one and only case, which we have heard about, or does this happen hundreds of time a day?

I suppose the role of the stories that make it big is to set precedent and awareness. But don't let talk of the Streisand effect lead you to think that the act of attempting to silence information isn't a powerful one. And that it isn't working every day against us.

What the police were really after, (5, Insightful)

fava (513118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458119)

Harassing a critic is just a bonus, what the police really wanted was the names of the internal informants so that they can be silenced.

No informants = No credible criticism.

Re:What the police were really after, (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458343)

Here's hoping Jeff did not leave any evidence of who the informants are on his computer...

Re:What the police were really after, (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458417)

Which is why I have a battery powered wireless NAS that looks like a block of wood holding up my desk. The fact that it is made from a block of wood helps with the disguise.

My router logs are the only hint that it exists. but since logs don't show where physically something is hiding they won't ever find it.

And you know who they are *wink, wink*

Re:What the police were really after, (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458625)

Forgot to check the "Post Anonymously" box, did we?

Re:What the police were really after, (2, Funny)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458681)

The problem is, when they see your collection of tinfoil hats, they'll split every molecule of your house in search of what you're hiding

We need to start passing laws... (5, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458125)

...to explicitly layout stronger civil and criminal penalties for abuse of office in the US.

    Use of the office to start an unjustified war, death and 50 million dollars or 50% of your wealth whichever is greater.

    Use of the office to murder, death and 50% of assets.

    Use of the office to take bribes, death and repayment of any contracts lost by competing companies.

    Use of the office to facilitate violence or cause violence against a person, 25 years to life.

    Use of the office to intimidate, threaten or harass, 15 years.

    Use of the office to deny someone their constitutional rights, 5 years.

    Anyone want to help get this on the ballot in 50 states while we still have the populist fervor going?

    Public servants need to be held to a higher standard because of the amount of power they have been given. If we continue allowing politicians and police to be above the law than we have lost our way as a people. We need to remake the laws so that this sort of thing carries penalties that these police officers and district attorneys will be forced to reckon with when they demonstrably are routinely operating as criminals with badges and warrants.

Re:We need to start passing laws... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458303)

Dude, you're using commas for two different purposes which is confusing as hell. Learn to use a colon when you mean "consequence".

Re:We need to start passing laws... (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458551)

What do we do to protect the police from rantings of ignorant bloggers who are pissed off because they got caught breaking the law in the past and can't except the results?

It works both ways, this guy could have easily avoided whats happening to him, IF it IS a bullying session. But you don't even know why they are after him do you?

You just assume that he did nothing wrong, just blogged about corrupt cops.

Have you even read his blog?

Do you always jump head first in and assume that the sensationalists are telling you the actual story?

If we continue to allow people to get by with making up stories and presenting the story in such a one sided way that it might as well be an outright lye we'll be far worse off than what you're afraid of.

Every fucking criminal on the planet says 'I'm innocent and this is police harrasment!!'

And idiots like you believe it.

Before you start talking about how we should attack politicians and cops, lets find out if they actually did anything wrong first instead of jumping to knee jerk reactions based on some emotional connection to a technological fad.

To quote a fellow slashdotter's sig: (5, Funny)

ternarybit (1363339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458135)

Orwell got everything right except the year. The Thought Police are now a reality, at least in Phoenix.

Re:To quote a fellow slashdotter's sig: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458267)

To quote another slashdotter's sig:

Please read 1984 before commenting on 1984.

Re:To quote a fellow slashdotter's sig: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458335)

> Please read 1984 before commenting on 1984.

I read it. I can't remember a word of what's in it. May I still comment on it? :-P

Critical of officials? (1)

koterica (981373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458143)

Phoenix? Minneapolis? It looks like its really all the same. [carlosmiller.com]

Re:Critical of officials? (3, Funny)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458317)

Phoenix? Minneapolis? It looks like its really all the same.

Greek names?

Re:Critical of officials? (1)

koterica (981373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458373)

And seizing of communications equipment when people are using it to document the action of police.

Off-topic (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458713)

FYI, the "Minne" comes from a native american word for "water." That's why there's lots of similar names: Minnesota, Minnetonka, Minnehaha, etc. So "Minneapolis" is a mishmash of the two.

We should be glad... (5, Insightful)

fjo3 (1399739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458153)

...that law enforcement agencies are still foolish enough to harass people in such a public and blatant way. Over time they will gain more technical expertise and find other, more difficult to detect, methods of harassing citizens who dare to criticize them. I fear the day when the police get a little bit smarter about disguising their abuses of power. Until then it will continue to be relatively easy to bring the enforcers of law to justice.

Harrass friends and relatives (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458251)

The smart powerful interests will use third parties to indirectly harass you.

If you are bothering me, maybe I'll anonymously let your kid's principal know your kid is under investigation for drug smuggling. This may lead to a locker search that might not find drugs but might find something else. In any case, it will stress out your kid and that might lead to family stress.

Even if I'm not low-life enough to drag kids into it, I may arrange for your sister or parents to be given some "extra scrutiny" or otherwise mess with them. Maybe I'll arrange for someone to steak your brother's license plate so he'll have to go to the time and trouble to replace it.

Are you a member of a non-profit board? Start a rumor that the non-profit isn't as squeaky-clean as the public believes. The resulting investigation will cost them time, energy, money, and possibly donations.

All of this is pretty petty, but a bunch of such things over time add up. While I'm not judging the Phoenix police, In the abstract, we are after all talking about organizations who obviously don't care about hurting people.

Re:Harrass friends and relatives (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458543)

I'm wondering how long it will take to use pirating as an excuse to seize equipment for harassment purposes. The police get the records from the ISP, discovers their target has had a lot of torrent activity, and gets a warrant.

Re:We should be glad... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458631)

Or ... they already have. And this really is simply a case of the guy getting busted for something and trying to claim police harassment.

Until there are some actual facts available, we're both just talking out our asses.

More (4, Insightful)

amclay (1356377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458155)

It's only going to bite us once the police report what he may have been actually doing, or what was not published. Where I find it horrible that they would do it for no reason, I also find it unlikely that they would go to such efforts, when it is obvious that it was retaliatory. My guess is there's more than they reported or know.

Re:More (5, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458199)

Possibly. But the chilling effect on possible informants is real. And having people with guns show up at your house and root through your possessions is always disturbing. There's also the opportunity to plant evidence, or to find evidence of an unrelated and real offense, however minor, to continue to bother our blogger with.

more than reported .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458443)

"It's only going to bite us once the police report what he may have been actually doing .. My guess is there's more than they reported or know"

"Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops .. Inept, Dishonest and Just Plain Wrong! Internal Corruption within the 4th Floor of the Phoenix Police Department, under Wanna-Be (Chief) Jack Harris"

The link at the top of Badphoenixcops [blogspot.com] points to a video of cops cutting the wires to video cameras before they help themselves to the owners goods and money

"once the cameras were not functioning, police proceeded to loot almost $10,000 in cash as well as several cartons of cigarettes .. The Daily News also reported that several other shop owners went through the same experience [carlosmiller.com] that year from the same group of cops, only to return from jail to find their store looted"

Fortunately... (4, Funny)

Atari400 (1174925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458177)

I don't live in a police sta%%%CARRIER DISCONNECT%%%

Re:Fortunately... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458575)

You would have possibly been funny if you said 'I do live in a poli!%R!Z NO CARRIER'.

They wouldn't do anything to you for playing along with them. God you people suck at being paranoid nut jobs. Not only that, you need to actually know what a modem disconnect looks like. Try NO CARRIER instead, and there wouldn't be any text after it since you are disconnected.

Dear Phoenix PD: (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458189)

I don't think you have a way to silence him.

Enjoy your Streisand Effect.

Re:Dear Moron`: (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458599)

Do you know why the took his stuff?

Do you know anything about the story other than what he said?

Do you know every single criminal on the planet says 'I'm guilty and this is police harassment'?

Other than a blog post, do you have any evidence to support his story?

Fortunately, I don't have to count on you to protect me from criminals.

Fortunately, I'm not consumed by this paranoia that the government is out to get me. This allows me to just wait until someone gathers some ACTUAL FACTS about the story before drawing conclusions.

Re:Dear Moron`: (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458615)

heh, bad post, criminals say 'I'm not guilty and this is police harassment'.

Really ruins the smugness of a post when you have to correct it yourself afterwords.

Damnit

grain of salt (5, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458205)

First, as shown the power of the government is out of control. Homeland security and the like began this trend, and people were happy with it which certain parties were in power because it was used to harass certain other parties they did not like. However, in America giving too much power to the government is dangerous because control shifts and such expansions of power can come back and bite you in the ass. Given that the second hit on google news for this story on a site that advertises the item "The Obama Deception" and has many survivalist stuff, one might assume that the slant in the story is derived from one being hoisted on one's own petard. To be fair though, it seems like the site does speak out against government excesses in general, but it did have a Nazi ad at one reload.

Second, this appears to be a simple domestic dispute. Guy gets a divorce and wife starts accusing him of what he says are false claims. Judge, probably just seeing that this couple can't stand each other, and probably does not want to waste time sorting out the truth, just drops the charges. Who knows who is telling the truth in such cases. I know people who have been accused of cutting other peoples phones off to harass them. I know for a fact that they didn't do it how can you prove it one way or another?

So what does this guy do. Start collecting 'tips' from persons inside the department and posting these accusations online. OK, that makes sense, you get slandered by unsubstantiated charges, so you go out and do the same? This is a good way to make friends with the police. Tell the world that one of them is a child molester, even though it may or may not be true. I telling you this is what I live for. Trying to do my job by helping two people that are too immature and uncivilized to get along with each other, I mean the police are required to investigate any reasonable charge, and then what do I get. My face plastered on the internet as a child molester. Oh yeah, that brightens my day.

Predictably this guy goes too far and gets himself in trouble and the police uses the excuse to take out a problem. Again, overkill, but so is calling a soon-to-be cop a child molester on the internet is not the way to go, especially when all the documentation is apparently yet to be delivered.

Arizona seems to have it's share of messed up policing, but there must be a better way to go about this than ranting on the internet with unsubstantiated claims.

It did have a Nazi ad at one reload (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458521)

That is freedom.

Real freedom is not support for popular ideas but defense of the right to think stupid things, believe abhorrent things, and spread those ideas to others.

And the faith that in a truly free marketplace of ideas, Nazi ideas and ideals will fail.

Re:grain of salt (1)

guzzirider (551141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458609)

"as shown the power of the government is out of control"..
  personally I don't believe that to be a new phenomena ..

However I wonder just how much of a soap opera this is ...Is his ex wife dating one of the cops ??
Ya' wonder ...

Eugene, Oregon too... (5, Interesting)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458263)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gr4RsI2V6Y [youtube.com]

Check out the video. Some college kids from the UofO are out in the "Ken Kezzie Free Speech" plaza in Eugene protesting the spraying of pesticides and get harassed by the cops and the taserd.

I mean look at the kids out there, 18 or 19, doing one of the great things about this country and that is letting you're thoughts be voiced.

This is crazy!

Re:Eugene, Oregon too... (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458519)

The kid in that movie threatened to spray pesticide in the face of the police officer. It's on a completely different level from what happened in TFA. Threatening police is a bad idea, even if you're just joking.

Cable modem... (2, Funny)

deAtog (987710) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458291)

Anyone worth their salt knows nothing is stored in the cable modem.

Something tells me he hasn't heard of the mysterious black smoke.

Re:Cable modem... (1)

spymagician (1303515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458515)

You mean MAGIC black smoke. That's the Genie!

Mature people (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458313)

those police folks - aren't they?

One has to wonder how they react in a real emergency situation. One can feel very protected by this kind of police....

 

What's Up Next For This Guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27458337)

I predict that they "find" kiddie porn on his computer.

backups (3, Insightful)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458427)

âoeThey broke into my safe and took the backups of my backups,â he said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Wednesday.

Let us use this as an instructive moment: Always keep important backups at a seperate physical location.
Especially if we are dealing with information that important, powerful, or underhanded people may want destroyed.

Heapin' helpin' o' salt, folks. (3, Interesting)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458445)

The guy was, at best, running an ongoing campaign of character assassination against certain Phoenix police officers. No crime there, although what he said may have been libelous. But if he was accusing police officers of breaking the law, then it is his duty as a citizen to present his evidence to whatever the local equivalent of the Internal Affairs Department is. If he was withholding that evidence, he was obstructing justice.

Bloggers aren't journalists. They don't have to live up to any standards of ethical journalism, and so they don't get protection for their sources. If that's what he's claiming, he's going to get a rude shock.

Bottom line is, we don't have all the facts. Phoenix isn't some podunk town. It's hard for me to imagine that both the cops and a judge in a large metropolitan area would do something this egregious.

Re:Heapin' helpin' o' salt, folks. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458509)

The guy was, at best, running an ongoing campaign of character assassination against certain Phoenix police officers. No crime there, although what he said may have been libelous.

And the smoke blowing begins.

But if he was accusing police officers of breaking the law, then it is his duty as a citizen to present his evidence to whatever the local equivalent of the Internal Affairs Department is.

Said the spider to the fly.

If he was withholding that evidence, he was obstructing justice.

You seem to have confused "withholding" and "publishing". And not presenting evidence of wrongdoing to the very organization accused of that wrongdoing isn't "obstruction of justice", it's "common sense".

This all started when his wife (1)

crackspackle (759472) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458463)

accused him of harassing her. Angry, he went on to complain to the mayor, the police and anyone else who would listen. When he ultimately was charged (even though it was later dropped), he got mad at the police and went after them, going so far as to make and photograph duplicate name plates of various police officers. What do you want to bet his wife was right about the harassement to begin with ?

I am not saying that justifies the actions of the Phoenix PD, just that this guy apparently enjoys being an asshole. While there's no crime in that, it does make me wonder whether what he says is credible or spiteful.

Accept without Corroboration? (1)

Minter92 (148860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458469)

I am a little frightened by the willingness of most of you to accept this without any corroboration. Searching the web I find no real reporting on this just blogs already predisposed to an anti-lawenforcement bias. And these blogs are just linking to the original story. Not saying it didn't happen, things like this do sadly happen, but shouldn't we have a higher standard.. I mean this isn't digg.

Re:Accept without Corroboration? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458655)

Searching the web I find no real reporting on this just blogs already predisposed to an anti-lawenforcement bias.

Every source is biased. You don't believe it because it doesn't appear in the mainstream news? Unfortunately, the cops don't bother to put stuff like illegal seizures in the police log.

Re:Accept without Corroboration? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458659)

It's sad that it's gotten to the point where it's easy to believe it's true.

A Judge issued a warrant for this? (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458523)

Wow, so let me get this right, he is in a lawsuit against the Phoenix PD for harassment, they seize the computers that contain the harassment evidence for 'unrelated' reasons; I wonder if this is more than retaliation, a quick sneak peak at his sources, evidence, etc...... talk about stacking the deck. I'll bet there will be goat.se or alter boy photos found somewhere on his system.

Lack of Knowledge (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458617)

It's possible that because of a lack of knowledge of where the information is actually stored, they thought they were actually removing the blogs, not just his tools, and if some 'unfortunate accident' were to happen to the equipment, the critical information would be gone.

Conflict of Interest (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27458639)

If there is a possible conflict of interest, the agency should have the option of requesting an *outside* agency, such as the FBI, perform such a raid, and perhaps even review the merit of the raid. Judges are to recuse themselves if they know of a possible conflict of interest in a case. The same should apply to cops.

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