Lawsuit Settled After Cop Revealed Anonymous Blogger To His Church, Then Destroyed Records To 'Protect Civil Rights'
from the no-conflict,-no-interest dept
Once the blogger's name was revealed to Hinson, he revealed the blogger's name to church officials, closed down his "investigation" and (wow) destroyed the files related to the investigation. He claimed that the files were destroyed to "protect the civil rights" of the blogger -- which is pretty funny since the entire investigation appears to have been designed to violate the civil right of anonymity of the blogger. Even more troubling, was that the state records concerning the subpoena were also destroyed -- though the state attorney claims this was "inadvertent." Meanwhile, with the blogger revealed to church leaders, he and his wife were accused of "sin," and then filed a "trespass" warning against him, effectively barring him from the church.
The guy sued the city and the state for the actions of Hinson, and have separately sued the church (they've since joined another church...). The state and the city have now "settled" without admitting guilt, but the lawyer for the blogger points out that the overall situation "speaks for itself." While it definitely sounds like a violation and a conflict of interest by the detective, what's amazing to me is that the state's attorney office was willing to issue that subpoena without realizing that it appeared to be more of a personal vendetta, and without any concern for the First Amendment anonymity rights of the blogger.