By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
First it was Chinese and Iranian bloggers getting the boot in from their government, then a Russian blogger received a suspended prison sentence for saying nasty things on his blog about the local police. Now the Memphis Police Department (MPD) in the good ol’ US of A is attempting to discover who is behind MPD Enforcer 2.0
The blog, which is apparently operated by a former MPD officer, is extremely critical of the MPD and its director, Larry Godwin. Now Godwin and the MPD’s lawyers want to know who’s behind MPD Enforcer.
So they have taken AOL to court because it looks like an @aim.com e-mail address is associated with the blog. They want the company to hand over all records that will identify the perp so the heavily armed SWAT teams can raid the premises and take the dangerous violent S.O.B down – ASAP. If that doesn’t pan out, I’m sure Google’s Blogspot is next on the hitlist. We can then all sleep easy in our beds knowing that a dangerous blogger has been taken off the streets and will never harm our children or our children’s children.
Some thoughts – first, by doing what they are doing, the MPD is playing right into the blogger’s hands. Not only are they giving the blog lots of publicity, but they are also confirming what the blogger is probably constantly saying – that the MPD is heavy handed and bullying.
Secondly, doesn’t the MPD have real criminals to catch instead of getting all worked up over one blogger?
Third, shouldn’t somebody teach the MPD and Director Godwin about something called the First Amendment?
Fourth, shouldn’t police officers be tough and develop thick skins? It looks like the MPD can’t handle a bit of criticism on a blog without crying about it and running home to Mummy. What about either ignoring the criticism or responding to it in a mature adult manner? Isn’t suing a bit over the top?
I’m sure all you US readers don’t want to see your tax dollars being spent on lawsuits like this when they should be spent on catching criminals, building prisons and maintaining a justice system in general. Instead, the MPD seems to be using your tax dollars to keep their egos intact.