Florida Judge Rules Post On RateMyCop.com Is Protected Speech

Florida Judge Rules Post On RateMyCop.com Is Protected Speechfrom threat level: A federal judge has struck down a Florida law prohibiting the publication of a police officer’s name, phone number or address, calling the statute an unconstitutional restraint on speech. The decision leaves Arizona, Colorado and Washington state with similar laws on the books. Florida authorities said Wednesday they were mulling whether to appeal. Robert Brayshaw, a 35-year-old apartment manager, brought the challenge to Florida’s law after he was briefly jail in 2008 for posting personally identifying information of a Tallahassee police officer on RateMyCop.com — a 2-year-old website that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community. RateMyCop uses public records requests to gather the names and, in some cases, badge numbers of thousands of uniformed cops at police departments around the country, and allows users to post comments about police they’ve interacted with. The site’s launch in 2008 drew cries of outrage from police, who complained that they’d be put at risk if their names were on the internet.

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