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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/22/2008 7:04:08 PM EST
Police director sues for names of bloggers critical of MPD

Site popular with citizens, officers
By Amos Maki (Contact), Memphis Commercial Appeal
Originally published 10:16 a.m., July 22, 2008
Updated 10:06 p.m., July 22, 2008

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis have filed a lawsuit to learn who operates a blog harshly critical of Godwin and his department.

The lawsuit asks AOL to produce all information related to the identity of an e-mail address linked to MPD Enforcer 2.0, a blog popular with police officers that has been extremely critical of police leadership at 201 Poplar.

"In what could be a landmark case of privacy and the 1st Amendment," the anonymous bloggers write on the site, "Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.

"Some members of the Enforcer 2.0 have contacted their attorneys and we are in the process of filing a lawsuit against Larry and the City of Memphis. What's wrong Larry? The truth hurt?"

It wasn't clear if the lawsuit is aimed at shutting down the site or if it's part of an effort to stop leaks that might affect investigations.

Many of the documents in the case, filed in Chancery Court on July 10, have been sealed by Chancellor Kenny Armstrong. Police officials would not discuss the action, citing pending litigation.

Whatever the reason, Internet and free-speech advocates said they had serious problems with the city's actions.

"You can complain about the government, and you should be able to do that without fear of retaliation or threatening actions on the part of the people in these positions," said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based watchdog group. "I guess they've kind of annoyed them at some level, but you really don't want to see law enforcement or government resources spent in this way."

AOL has been ordered to turn over similar records in the past.

In 2001, Japanese company Nam Tai filed a complaint in California state court against unknown Web posters claiming they committed libel and violated the state's unfair business practices statute.

Nam Tai was able to obtain the e-mail address of one of the posters and then obtained a subpoena from a Virginia state court to AOL seeking the name behind the e-mail address.

AOL filed a motion to have the order quashed, but lost that bid in trial court and the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee said they will be watching the case closely and that anonymous speech is essential to the free flow of ideas in a democracy.

"We are quite interested in preserving the anonymity of the bloggers," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. "Anonymous speech has long been protected speech under the First Amendment."

The bloggers, who operate under the name of Dirk Diggler -- the name of the porn star in "Boogie Nights" -- say their site provides an important service to officers and citizens.

"This is another attempt at disrupting an outlet for officers to gather and complain about the administration," they said on the site.

"Further, this allows us unrestricted communication with the citizens of Memphis. The citizens should be made aware of the scandals that rock the administration and shudder the rocky foundation in which they operate today."

The bloggers also said city attorneys earlier this year wrote a threatening letter on city letterhead to a company that produced T-shirts for the bloggers.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:06:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:06:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 7:10:00 PM EST by vanilla_gorilla]
WTF do they think they're going to do with that? Short of threats against officers, officials, or the general public, sounds to me like they can FOAD.

Edit: I forgot, or if there is information pertinent to an ongoing investigation in there. I'd like to see if there's any of that.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:10:49 PM EST
Dear: Police Director Larry Godwin

You're an asshole!

That is all.

Love & Kisses,
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:12:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 7:13:44 PM EST by omega62]
You know, it is pretty rare when I agree with the ACLU.

But this time, I do.

The only thing that frightens me more than attacks on the Second Amendment are attacks on the First.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:13:12 PM EST
Here is a petition about him, and the last name on the list is "Dirk Diggler"

Fire Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin
Target:The current leadership of the MPD needs to be changed immediately.
Sponsored by: www.mpdenforcer20.blogspot.com
Director Larry Godwin has been asleep at the wheel, steering the department off course and onto rocky ground. He has led the citizens into thinking that "his" crime initiatives are effective and lowering crime on a daily basis. The FBI's Uniformed Crime Report shows a different picture. Violent crime has risen in Memphis since Godwin took office. He has taken other people's ideas and renamed them as his own, while throwing tax payers dollars into already failing initiatives. Further, the men and women of his own department have been calling for him to resign for years. Let your voice be heard! It's time to speak up and take our city back from lacky politicians
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 4:23:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2008 4:25:07 AM EST by Cpt_Kirks]
I thought Larry had more sense than that.

Like the silly-assed NYT trying to censor McCain, all he has done is to make the website he is trying to kill off more well known.

Here, go to the site and piss Larry off: www.mpdenforcer20.blogspot.com/

Link Posted: 7/23/2008 4:33:31 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 4:38:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By Merrell:
The lawsuit asks AOL to produce all information related to the identity of an e-mail address linked to MPD Enforcer 2.0, a blog popular with police officers that has been extremely critical of police leadership at 201 Poplar.

No doubt he'll go after any officers he can identify as posting on that site.
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 8:03:37 AM EST

Godwin sounds like an ass.
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 8:14:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By FourStringSlinger:

Godwin sounds like an ass.

Dumbass would be more accurate.
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