Search for anti-police blogger costs $88,000

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Unsuccessful efforts to uncover the identity of Internet bloggers critical of the Memphis Police Department and its top officers will cost the city $88,000.

The city filed suit in state court in an attempt to identify the people behind a Web site called MPD Enforcer 2.0, but the lawsuit was eventually dropped.

Records now show the suit cost the city nearly $88,000.

Friday, Paul Levy, the attorney representing the anonymous blogger, said the city's attempt to squash the blogger's right to free speech was a waste of taxpayer money.

"Somebody in the city who's making judgements about the hiring of lawyers needs to go back to school to figure out what judgements to make, because I just can't see how it could have been worth $88,000 to the city to conduct this piece of litigation," Levy said.

When the suit was filed earlier this year, authorities said they were upset because a picture of an undercover officer was posted on the site. It was later determined, however, that the officer's picture was also on the police department Web site.

Action News 5 was unable to reach Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin for comment Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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