Here's a story that deserves more coverage
From the Arizona Daily Star.
Basically, the Phoenix AZ published an article critical of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, that mentioned his home address -- not out of nastiness, but because the article concerned his realty holdings. No problem. BUT the story was also carried on its webpage, and there is a statute making it a felony to put a law enforcement officer's home address on the internet IF it poses an imminent threat to them.
The Maricopa County Attorney figures he has a conflict of interest, since the alternative paper also criticizes him a lot. He hands the case to another county attorney. But they do nothing (which, I'd suggest , is just what they should do), and so he takes it back (you'd think doing so involves a conflict) and hires a former associate as a special prosecutor.
Whereupon the guy has two executives of the alternative paper arrested and hauled away in handcuffs, convenes a grand jury, and subpeonas all the paper's website internet data, including the last three years' visitors logs (including the websites that each visitor had visited before going to the newspaper).
This is pretty dang shocking to me, and I think it deserves wider coverage (and the officials involved deserve investigation, not to mention un-election if not impeachment).
Arpaio's home address should not be publicized in print or on the internet or anywhere else without his permission.
I see a huge problem.
Arpaio is one of the few fellows out there who is trying to enforce the law.
He deserves special consideration.
The folks who published it should have omitted mention of his home address.
By failing to do so, they created a huge problem.
Now they have a huge problem.
No one should publish the home address of law enforcement officers--whether on the internet or in print.
The law is supposed to help the cause of maintaining a law-abiding society.
When the law fails to protect the enforcers of law from those who would wantonly kill them, then the law needs to be changed.
Arpaio's address should never have been published anywhere that would make it available to the public without his permission.
Posted by: Tarn Helm at October 20, 2007 01:10 PM
Tarn Helm is right. The Paper is wrong.
Posted by: Dan Hamilton at October 20, 2007 01:15 PM
the 2 readers above may not be residents of AZ like I am.
If they are then they should know that the New Times (the paper in question) published a series of articles critical of the sherriff, in particular, why he had used the law allowing for his personl residence to be redacted from public documents to ALSO redact the various commercial holdings he has purchased since becoming sherriff.
the paper noted that the sherriff had spent $1,000,000 IN CASH for the various properties, on sole income of a pension from the DEA and his salary as sherriff.
Also, to note, the sherriffs home address was ALREADY available on several public sites already, all one had to do was dig a bit. clearly, our "toughest sherriff in the land" seems to have something to hide.
as for the commentator who claims the sherriff is the only one out here trying to enforce the law -
well, as one who is here, I can say that sherriff Joe is a BAD sherriff, a publicity hound, probably a crook, and DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the deaths of several inmates (arrested, NOT CONVICTED of any crime) in his jails by being place in "restraint chairs". the county has had to settle SEVERAL wrongfull death suits at the cost of millions of dollars.
it should also be noted that as of Sat morning the charges have been dropped, the special prosecutor FIRED, and the county attorney and the prosecutor are now the subject of ETHICS investigations by the AZ State Bar.
i'd say that pretty much lays waste to any complaint against the New Times.
Posted by: scott at October 20, 2007 01:50 PM
Tarn Helm is wrong. Every police officer should have his address published. That would do more to adjust their attitude about the dignity of citizenship, which they regularly violate, and it would encourage them to be sure they do their jobs properly.
Next time a cop asks for your ID, tell him you want to see his. I have done this. My reasoning to him was that with my ID he would soon know more about me than I would remember about myself. That being the case, if I was burgled or one of my family was molested or raped in my home, I would know where to find him in order to add him to the list of suspects. He decided he didn't need to know that much about me. Of course, that was years ago, before they could shoot anybody they damn well pleased with no penalty.
Posted by: straightarrow at October 20, 2007 02:24 PM
"straightarrow" wrote, at October 20, 2007 02:24 PM:
"Tarn Helm is wrong. Every police officer should have his address published. That would do more to adjust their attitude about the dignity of citizenship, which they regularly violate, and it would encourage them to be sure they do their jobs properly."
Law enforcement officers are targets precisely for doing their jobs properly. The lawbreakers don't differentiate the way you do (or seem to) between good cops and bad cops. Lawbreakers will not thank LEOs for "doing their jobs properly."
The vast majority of LEOs do perform their jobs properly.
LEOs and their innocent family members should not be subjected to unnecessary exposure of their identity or their home's location.
The story of Buford Pusser, while the subject of some very imperfectly made movies ("Walking Tall"), was nevertheless a perfect example of the consequences of the kind of transparency to which you would like to subject LEOs.
Making policy based on resentment of LEOs is unlikely to promote anything but an even more empowered class of career criminals.
The suggestion that LEOs addresses be published seems imprudent at best.
Posted by: Tarn Helm at October 20, 2007 11:12 PM
Most LEO's may not be thugs. Those that are ruin it for everyone else.
However, if any CITIZEN can have their address published on the internet, then any civil servant should be able to also: We do not have classes of citizenship where some are more entitled or equal than others.
Even the President's home address is published.
And the fact that LEO's don't want their address published only serves to highlight their inability to effectively address the criminal population.
BTW, most confidentiality laws for LEO's are really for judges and DA's.
Posted by: Flighterdoc at October 21, 2007 09:06 AM
It is no more imprudent than publishing anyone else's. If you have so much fear for cops and their families think what it must be like for people without sidearms, mace,batons, handcuffs, collar radio, backup, radio cars, M-16's and an almost guaranteed immunity from the law.
Oh yeah, I forgot to add a propensity for whining.
Posted by: straightarrow at October 21, 2007 10:12 AM
Sorry but the biggest problem with bad police is just what this story is about. It rests with corrupt DAs who won't prosecute or authorize an investigation. A family member did public corruption investigations as a state investigator. Many cases he wanted to pursue were stopped when the DA who had connections to the politician or sheriff wouldn't authorize the investigations. If a federal angle could be developed the case turned over to the FBI, so there are a few politicians and police officials in jail even though they had connections.
One issue as shown in the AZ case, politicians and police officials will take action against an investigator, either law enforcement or reporter, where your run-of-the-mill criminal simple considers police investigation the cost of doing business. They use their political connections mostly but when it gets desperate they sometimes try murder.
In fact, now that the legal avenue has been shut down, the editors and reporters in AZ are probably now most in danger from the sheriff.
Posted by: JKB at October 21, 2007 06:40 PM
"Sorry but the biggest problem with bad police is just what this story is about."-JKB
The biggest problem is the so-called good cops will not arrest or testify against the bad cops, most of this is for the reasons you have stated. Ergo, it is a very difficult proposition to sell the idea that most cops are "good" when they adhere to the same exact modus operandi as any other criminal gang.
Posted by: straightarrow at October 21, 2007 06:52 PM
Anybody that is paid with public funds (taxes, ya know) is a public official and subject to open public records. If you don't like the risks of the job, get a different one.
Posted by: MuzzleBlast at October 22, 2007 09:45 AM
Arpaio is one of the few fellows out there who is trying to enforce the law. Isn't that ,/i>ironic.
Posted by: steve at October 22, 2007 10:32 AM
Does this rise to the level of felony? Were the reporters engaged in a conspiracy to deprive Apraio of his rights? Since we're discussing arms and the law, does this felony indicate that the perpetrators are not trustworthy enough to carry weapons for their own defense? In other words: this crime is on the same level as armed robbery, forcible rape, assault with a weapon and murder?
I think that the municipal government can extend the privilege of privacy to Arpaio if it so chooses, and he probably has grounds to sue the paper for the costs of relocation. If he's engaged in criminal behavior, then it has to be proven front of a jury, and he's either convicted or he isn't.
Too bad about the lawsuit jackpots at taxpayer expense, but the powers that be chose to retain him.
Posted by: TJH at October 22, 2007 06:00 PM