Our First Amendment rights to accentuate depraved acts within the Phoenix Police Department and publish them in a public forum, has prevailed.”
Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) February 1, 2010
An Arizona State Grand Jury refused to indict an outspoken critic and blogger on charges of harassment, identity theft, petty theft and computer fraud as a March search warrant had alleged.
The March search warrant issued from the Arizona Criminal Court (SW2009-003089) and its associated affidavit made the claim that the blogger and a website had harassed Mike and Heather Polombo who are married, Phoenix Police officers. The search warrant claimed computer fraud, harassment, theft of property and alluded to identity theft. An Arizona state Grand Jury simply did not agree.
“We have known all along, what the Grand Jury swiftly discovered,” noted the owner of the website BadPhoenixCops.com. “The Phoenix Police conducted a raid on one of our bloggers, including taking all his computer equipment and even non-warranted, personal items. It really raises some eyebrows when the police who we blog about are allowed to enter an outspoken critic’s home, based on allegations from fellow police officers. If they really thought a crime was committed a better approach would have been to engage an outside impartial agency, like the FBI. Our First Amendment rights to accentuate depraved acts within the Phoenix Police Department and publish them in a public forum, has prevailed.”
The vague warrant was issued by the presiding criminal court judge in Phoenix, Arizona, judge Gary Donahoe. The site owner added, “What’s even more frightening is that Gary Donahoe was recently indicted on charges of his own; for racketeering - including, bribery, obstructing a criminal investigation, and hindering prosecution (Arizona criminal court case CR 2009-008332-001). When the issuance of unclear warrants, based on ambiguous evidence by a Police Department is allowed by an indicted judge, then we should have someone at the federal level come in and investigate these recent events. This story may be shocking to legal scholars in the United States and others in law enforcement, but in Arizona we call this the daily operating procedure of our criminal justice system; and their misunderstanding and misinterpretation of citizens’ rights under the 1st, 4th and 14th Amendment.”
The Phoenix Police have also ignored repeated requests to return all seized items obtained from the search, a clear infringement of the 14th Amendment and the blogger’s right to Due Process. “The Phoenix Police are continuing their persecution campaign against our blogger and will undoubtedly continue to issues charges in an attempt to silence him, including recent charges of perjury on a completely unrelated divorce case (Arizona Criminal Court CR 2010- 005328-002). Even after a Grand Jury refused to issue indictments on the search warrant, the Phoenix Police have refused all requests to return the owner’s property. It has been over 10 months. It’s truly a potato-head move on their part,” added the website’s owner. “It would behoove them to read United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit opinion, United States of America vs. Comprehensive Drug Testing (CV-04-02887-FMC), to comply with the rules of seized property.”
The officer heading up the criminal investigation, Detective Theron Quass could not convince the Grand Jury or prove any of the harassment or computer fraud claims from the website upon the Polombos – a case that was already turned down by the Maricopa County prosecutor’s office for not meeting the elements for prosecution. The blogger and his attorney Jess Lorona did present to the Grand Jury and while neither party is allowed to discuss their Grand Jury testimony, they were pleased the Grand Jury saw through the ruse. They vow to continue fighting all future charges the Phoenix Police try to volley against him.
"Our public safety manager Jack Harris wants everyone to think that criticism, scrutiny and accountability are now euphemisms for 'harassment', when he forgets he works for all citizens in Phoenix and is abusing the public trust we granted to him, " noted the website owner. "Jack Harris feels accountable to no one, not even his own Police Union, which is why the site exists. If people disagree with the website or its content, then they shouldn’t read it,” they added.
(Based outside the United States and won’t honor US based subpoenas or search warrants)