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Monday, April 14, 2008

The Threats We Received Appear Serious...Revised

Well, some people kindly let me know that, as presented, there are too many details unrelated to the actual threat. My fault, and I apologise for that, I included the threats to have the site taken down in with the threats against me personally and that only added to the confusion.

So, here's what I've pieced together without the events related to the threats to shut the site down:

03/19/08 – We receive the following email from someone who addresses me by name and suggests that he has “inside information” that he will give me if I agree to meet him in person. While we're suspicious about the request for a private meeting and ask around about the pseudonym, we reply requesting more information. The sender's IP address is recorded as well by matching the email timestamp with the site log. (however, the poster from this address has repeatedly sent intimidating comments to the site using the same IP address, as will be shown later.)

03/19/08 - Posted in "Cops Everywhere, they Lurves Us" – On the same day as the suspicious email, a Chicago Police blog posts a link to our site, encouraging fellow police officers to send harassing messages to this site.

03/25/08 - Posted under "About Internet Anonymity" – After ignoring several innocuous, but harassing, comments one arrives that directly threatens to kill me if I ever come to Chicago which seems to also reference my story. This is pretty frightening for us since we've been making plans to move to Chicago for months, we scrapped those plans as a result.

03/30/08 - Posted under "About Those Threats" – While still trying to figure out why police officers thousands of miles away would care enough about a blog that details abuses in Seattle, we spot traffic from the network that is corresponding directly with traffic that came from the Chicago police blog. This raises the possibility that the attacks from Chicago were directed from an officer in Seattle.

04/06/08 – In response to a post that suggested the city of Seattle should not agree to give officers pay raises until they agree to oversight and accountability reforms, the same person who sent the email on 03/19/08 (above) angerly posted that I should thank the detective who gave up the exculpatory video evidence that resulted in all charges being dropped against me in 01/2007, insinuating that I owe my freedom to him and not the fact that I was innocent and that video evidence proved it. The only reason we can think of for someone who wanted to meet in private to be angry about a post like that would be if that person were a cop... That means the earlier request for a private meeting was likely meant to lure me someplace for a beating by that officer and his friends. (the same person still sends me harassing messages from the same IP address to this day, as recent as 05/17/08.)

Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do about these events. While I consider them threatening and they do make me feel very afraid, others think I should expect or even deserve the threats or worse because I speak out about police brutality and detainee abuse. But, just in case something does happen to me, I figure it is better to be safe than sorry and keep the information public anyway.

In the least, I think any reasonable person would agree that it is disturbing to see so many officers attempt to intimidate and harass someone, just for speaking out. This is supposed to be a free country, after all, but I suppose that may be my naivete for thinking the police would respect that and act professionally about it.

But, hey, I might be wrong about that.

*updated 19:35, 04/14/08

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