In what should send a frightening chill down the spine of every blogger, writer, journalist and First Amendment advocate in the United States, Phoenix police raided the home of a blogger who has been highly critical of the department.
Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, said the officers confiscated three computers, routers, modems, hard drives, memory cards and everything necessary to continue blogging.The 41-year-old software engineer said they also confiscated numerous personal files and documents relating to a pending lawsuit he has against the department alleging harassment - which he says makes it obvious the raid was an act of retaliation.
Maricopa County Judge Gary Donahoe signed the search warrant that allowed at least ten cops to raid his home in North Phoenix on March 12 while handcuffing his female roommate for three hours as they tore the place apart.
Pataky, who was out of town on a business trip during the raid, also believes police were retaliating against him for the content of his blog, much of it which comes from inside sources within the department.“They broke into my safe and took the backups of my backups,” he said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Wednesday.
“I can’t even file my taxes because all my business plans are gone. They took everything.”
The search warrant lists “petty theft” and “computer tampering with the intent to harass” as probable causes. He has yet to see an actual affidavit that lists in detail the probable cause and is skeptical that one even exists.
“They say everything has been sealed,” he said.