Police director sues to find identity of blogger - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Police director sues to find identity of blogger

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin

Memphis Police Department Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis have filed a lawsuit in Chancery Court to find out who is behind a blog that regularly criticizes the director and his department.

The lawsuit asks AOL of Loudoun, Virginia, to produce all information related to the identity of an email address linked to the blog, named 'MPD Enforcer 2.0,' which has become popular with officers.

Click here to visit the blog.

The lawsuit lists John and Jane Doe as defendants.

"It appears that Mr. Godwin and the city have sued, presumably, a bunch of John Does because they don't have the identities," said local attorney Jim Summers.

Much of the case has been sealed by Chancellor Kenny Armstrong.  But, the blog on Monday posted Godwin's subpoena, which demands that AOL turn over the identity of its creator or creators to him and the city of Memphis.

"You don't really have the right to prevent AOL from disclosing that information," Summers said.

Summers added that users often waive that right when they sign up for service, and that brings up privacy issues.

"They're asking a third party who's holding confidential information to come in and provide them with a name of this individual who subscribed to their service, who's now publishing all kinds of things," Summers said.

According to Summers, laws that protect news gatherers from having to reveal their sources could come into play.

"So then the question becomes, is a blogger a news gatherer?" he asked.

A writer on the blog, identified as 'Dirk Diggler,' responded to the lawsuit by writing that Godwin has, "illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States."

The creators say on the website that it is "run by many and edited by some."

Tuesday, a Memphis Police Department spokesperson said it would be inappropriate for Godwin to respond to our requests for comment, since this is an ongoing legal matter.  Calls to Memphis City Attorney Elbert Jefferson were not returned.

Click here to send an email to Kontji Anthony.

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