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On May 23, a police officer arrested Robert W. Frese in Exeter, New Hampshire and took him to the station for booking. Frese is no stranger to law enforcement; in the past, he has been convicted of fraud, criminal trespassing, and a hit-and-run. (His vehicle was easy to track because of its notable vanity plate: TRUMP1.) But this latest arrest, Frese learned, had nothing to do with those earlier mishaps. Instead, he had been apprehended for insulting a police officer on the internet.
The facts of the case, laid out by the Seacoast Online and the criminal complaint against Frese, are straightforward. On May 3, Frese wrote a comment on a Seacoast Online article about recently retiring police officer Dan D’Amato. He believed that D’Amato had treated him unfairly and harshly criticized his alleged misconduct. He then tore into Exeter Police Chief William Shupe, declaring that “Chief Shupe covered up for this dirty cop.”
The situation in Exeter may seem to be little more than a minor mishap. But as pundits and politicians debate censorship on college campuses, it’s important to remember that law enforcement has vast power to suppress expression it dislikes. Immigration activists have credibly accused federal agents of targeting them on the basis of their speech. Demonstrators protesting police brutality have been subject to violence and wrongful arrests because of their expression. Other police departments have allegedly retaliated against citizens who contribute to negative media coverage of officers and journalists conducting investigations. The Exeter case is a bracing reminder that people with guns and badges often present the most immediate threat to the freedom of speech.
originally posted by: network dude
he had every right to be in that badger den covered in bacon grease.
It is extremely unusual for the government to prosecute defamation as a crime; the vast majority of defamation claims are civil suits, in which one party seeks redress from the other.
originally posted by: dothedew
Well, New Hampshire is a part of New England.......... And it sounds like they're taking a play right out of England and their "Thought Police" playbook.
originally posted by: underwerks
*Patiently waits for knock at the door because of all the police officers I’ve insulted on ATS...
644:11 Criminal Defamation. – I. A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if he purposely communicates to any person, orally or in writing, any information which he knows to be false and knows will tend to expose any other living person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule.
II. As used in this section "public'' includes any professional or social group of which the victim of the defamation is a member.
originally posted by: Somethingsamiss
a reply to: network dude
I don't really see the parallel your trying to draw... Because he has personal experience with being on the other side of the law?
Regardless no matter if you've been a law abiding citizen or not, you have every right to voice your opinion on public officials.
originally posted by: muzzleflash
a reply to: Krakatoa
It really doesn't matter if it's unconstitutional or if he can criticize public officials.
All that matters is if the judge wants to punish him. Judges have ultimate power these days.
That's why I think we need to place severe restrictions and powerful punishments on all of these gov't officials.
I'm so sick of this #
originally posted by: RowanBean
Under their statute shouldn't they arrest people for saying hateful things about others on Facebook?