Judge strikes down law prohibiting publication of police officer's personal information
A federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a nearly 40-year-old Florida law that forbids the malicious publication of a law enforcement officer's home address or telephone number.
The ruling late last week by U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak is a victory for Rob Brayshaw, a Tallahassee man who, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the law.
Brayshaw was charged under the statute for publishing true personal information about Tallahassee police officer Annette Garrett on the website Ratemycop.com.
Smoak wrote in his opinion that the law was overly broad and on its face, unconstitutional. Such speech, he said, was not "malicious" or constituted a threat and was protected under the First Amendment.