Orlando Police Chief Threatens Critical Blogger, Saying Truth Isn't A Defense

from the oh-really? dept

We've seen plenty of government officials get upset about various things critics have said about them, and Tim writes in to let us know that down in Orlando, Florida, the local police chief is threatening to sue a web critic who put up a site highlighting how the chief had her gun stolen from her car, and then that news was kept secret for a while. While there are some complications here (the site the blogger is using is the chief's name, ValDemings.com, for example), it's hard to see how there's any defamation here at all, despite the Chief's claims. She does claim that he portrayed the situation in "false light," but as the article notes, the Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that "false light isn't a legitimate cause of action and has the potential to chill free speech."

But what may be most scary is the following quote from Demings' attorney:
"Truth is not always a defense. I hope he [Harris] gets himself a really good lawyer."
While it's true that some have been trying to push the boundaries of libel law to get rid of "truth" as an absolute defense, that troubles most people, and it's hardly common. Of course, in the meantime, in trying to shut up this blogger, Demings seems to be doing a great job kicking up a lot of attention about the fact she lost her gun...
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Filed Under: bloggers, defamation, orlando, truth, val demings

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  1. identicon
    Avatar28, 30 Apr 2009 @ 8:49pm

    fair libel trial?

    Any bets that she tries to get the trial in Orlando with one of her pet judges who will side with her on the matter?

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