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Uh-Oh They're Here !!!

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Forum topic by Dan'um Style posted 08-12-2009 01:59 AM 1096 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3443 days


08-12-2009 01:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor tip

I enjoyed reading this story thought I’d share it with ”yoose guys”

Uh-Oh They’re Here’
A persistent blogger annoys police—and winds up in jail.

A 34-YEAR-OLD woman, the mother of a 12-year-old girl, has been locked up in a Virginia jail for three weeks and could remain there for at least another month. Her crime? Blogging about the police.

Elisha Strom, who appears unable to make the $750 bail, was arrested outside Charlottesville on July 16 when police raided her house, confiscating notebooks, computers and camera equipment. Although the Charlottesville police chief, Timothy J. Longo Sr., had previously written to Ms. Strom warning her that her blog posts were interfering with the work of a local drug enforcement task force, she was not charged with obstruction of justice or any similar offense. Rather, she was indicted on a single count of identifying a police officer with intent to harass, a felony under state law.

It’s fair to say that Ms. Strom was unusually focused on the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force, a 14-year-old unit drawn mainly from the police departments of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and the University of Virginia. (Her blog at http://iheartejade.blogspot.com, expresses the view that the task force is “nothing more than a group of arrogant thugs.”) In a nearly year-long barrage of blog posts, she published snapshots she took in public of many or most of the task force’s officers; detailed their comings and goings by following them in her car; mused about their habits and looks; hinted that she may have had a personal relationship with one of them; and, in one instance, reported that she had tipped off a local newspaper about their movements.

Predictably, this annoyed law enforcement officials, who, it’s fair to guess, comprised much of her readership before her arrest. But what seems to have sent them over the edge—and skewed their judgment—is Ms. Strom’s decision to post the name and address of one of the officers with a street-view photo of his house.
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All this information was publicly available, including the photograph, which Ms. Strom gleaned from municipal records. The task force’s officers may have worked undercover on occasion, but one wonders about their undercover abilities, given that Ms. Strom was able to out them so consistently. Chief Longo warned Ms. Strom that her blog posts were scaring off informants and endangering the officers and their families, but he provided no evidence. At no point did Ms. Strom’s blog express a threat, explicit or otherwise, to police or their sources.

Ms. Strom is not the most sympathetic symbol of free-speech rights. She has previously advocated creating a separate, all-white nation, and her blog veers from the whimsical to the self-righteous to the bizarre. But the real problem here is the Virginia statute, in which an overly broad, ill-defined ban on harassment-by-identification, specifically in regard to police officers, seems to criminalize just about anything that might irritate targets.

It should not be a crime to annoy the cops, whose raid on Ms. Strom’s house looks more like a fit of pique than an act of law enforcement. Some of her postings may have consisted of obnoxious speech, but they were nonetheless speech and constitutionally protected. That would hold true right up through her last blog post, written as the police raid on her home began at 7 a.m.: “Uh-Oh They’re Here.”

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain


8 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3173 days


#1 posted 12-20-2009 08:01 AM

Weird?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1488 posts in 2813 days


#2 posted 12-20-2009 09:02 AM

Idoeknow…. That’s a tough one.Outing a law enforcement officer that works undercover is putting that officer at a greater risk then normal IMO. If rational efforts don’t seem to be working something has to be done. If the law is there use, but don’t abuse it. Some criminals have no problem shooting/killing a cop so why make it easier to find them and their families. Like the three in jail here for ambushing an officer in her car last week, think they cared? I’m sure all the people siting free speech in instances like this would be singing a different tune if it were them and their families put at risk. Officers put their life on the line for us everytime they go to work, some crackpot shouldn’t be allowed to single handedly increase that risk for no reason.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Blake's profile

Blake

3442 posts in 3335 days


#3 posted 12-20-2009 09:11 AM

You pick your own battles.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2795 days


#4 posted 12-20-2009 05:38 PM

We live in an imperfect world.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 3019 days


#5 posted 12-20-2009 05:48 PM

What next? What will happen to this world in the next few years? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 3707 days


#6 posted 12-20-2009 06:24 PM

It’s a slippery slope, they tread. On one hand we have free speech, but when it endangers someones life it is no longer a persons right. Just like the kids that were telling lies about another girl and she ended up committing suicide. Where did the free speech end there?

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1488 posts in 2813 days


#7 posted 12-20-2009 07:35 PM

Kids and mother of one of the kids, good point.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View rtb's profile

rtb

1101 posts in 3174 days


#8 posted 12-20-2009 11:29 PM

Its a very slippery slope but, I don’t think that our rights supersede the rights of us all collectivity. Fre speach does not give us the right to liable, nor does freedom of religion give us the right to practice human sacrifice. It a case where a little common sense will go a long way, and this woman apparently doesn’t have any. If this type of behavior leads to a policeman’s death wouldn’t she then be an accessory to murder?

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

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