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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Criticism vs Harrassment

You know, I appreciate honest and constructive criticism. As a technical writer I don't take it personally when someone tells me I got a fact wrong so long as they tell me why they think so, otherwise I can't fix the problem...

But then I get these kinds of useless comments (click to get a better look):

Now, I don't know about you, but considering this comment came from the same network that the Seattle Police Department uses, I see it as blatant harrassment. Honestly, the last thing I need to hear about right now is how some police officer feels it would be justified for him to beat me down and arrest me again just because I write about police misconduct, I'm afraid of police enough already.

Do you agree that it's harrassment like I do?

Or do you think it's fine for police officers to send victims of police misconduct messages like that from government computers on government time?

Now, why does this bother me when I've read so many stories that prove that the SPD would have no problem making good on such threats, that they could and would get away with murdering me or beating and arresting me on false charges for just speaking my mind?

Because some part of me still thinks that the police are supposed to act professionally and take that obligation seriously... unfortunately they keep proving that part of me wrong.

modified 12/31/07 to shorten.

Update: I did some more digging and thanks to some people saving my site as a file to their local drives I got a couple user names and cross-referencing those with a list of city and county employees I discovered that all the hits coming from Municipality of Metro Seattle appear to be King County offices, mostly from the KCCF or Sheriff's Dept, while the City of Seattle hits can be either Seattle Police Department or other City offices.

Since both City of Seattle and Municipality of Metro Seattle networks appeared around the same time as the comment, I don't know which it came from for certain... but it seems like governmental misconduct to use goverment resource to post harrassing comments like that none the less.


Pat said...

I don't think it's harassment, (what threat does it pose?) It's the guys opinion. Also, this banter between you and the naysayer is the equivalent of an Israeli whining on a Hezbollah blog. This blog is dedicated to reporting SPD misconduct. Naturally SPD and related government offices aren't going to appreciate it. That said, it's not worth discounting entirely or warranting an "ass beating" for that matter.

Packratt said...

Thanks for your input, Pat, I appreciate it.

Indeed, it may not be an overt threat, but it doesn't have to be one in order to qualify as harrassment. Here's how I see it, let me know if you agree or not.

1. It was a comment from a government employee, using government resources, on government time.

2. Unless it is rebutted or met with another response from that government, I have to assume that it is an official communication, an opinion approved by that government by one of it's representatives.

3. The statement is an unqualified sanction of physical violence and imprisonment against my person for merely utilizing a first ammendment right of free speech.

4. That sanction of violence and imprisonment against my person, coming from said government employee on government time using government resources, now caries with it the wieght of the office for which that employee works.

5. Irregardless of all that, it is official misconduct if it is not an official opinion of said government since it was done on government time using government resources without express consent of said government.

So, you see, it is either an approved message from the King County and/or City of Seattle government(s) or it is an unapproved missuse of government resources.

What's your take?

Packratt said...


I should make clear that I personally think public employees should be allowed to have and express their own opinions freely.

But on their own time, using their own resources, and in a non-official capacity only. Otherwise, their opinion then becomes their employer's opinion... their employer being the government.

It's the same reason why I generally only post at night or early morning, because what I write is not necessarily my employer's opinion and they should not pay for it.

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