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Kevin Stitt signs “Oklahoma Cops Get Special Protections From Doxxing Act”

6:42 AM EDT on April 23, 2021

Governor Kevin Stitt today signed into law House Bill 1643, a bill that makes it crime to dox, or post personal information, of law enforcement and county officials online.

Sen. David Bullard, (R-Durant), who authored the bill, says those who protect communities should also have their privacy protected.

“The problem that we run into is when public officials, especially law enforcement, are doxxed, it puts their family at risk,” he said...

Critics say the bill is much broader than it seems, and can create problems with accountability.

“With this bill, on the floor it was made clear that anyone posting videos or photos of law enforcement would be expected to blur out their names on badges​,” Nicole McAfee, director of policy and advocacy for ACLU Oklahoma, said.

Question – If doxing is bad and dangerous, why are we only extending these protections to cops and elected officials? Shouldn't we make it a crime to post personal information about all Oklahomans? You can't identify a cop online, but you can do it to a teacher, doctor, fireman, etc? Where's the logic in that? Why do only cops and public officials get special privileges?

"Patrick! Oklahoma is basically an authoritarian police state where law enforcement has excessive powers and influence, leading to the creation of regressive, draconian laws that make our state a global leader in putting people in prison! That's why!"

Okay, that makes sense.

Here's the main text of the bill:

Whoever, with the intent to threaten, intimidate or harass, or facilitate another to threaten, intimidate or harass, uses an electronic communication device to knowingly publish, post or otherwise make publicly available personally identifiable information of a peace officer or public official, and as a result places that peace officer or public official in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed six (6) months, or by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

At first glance, it appears lawmakers gave people an out by including the text "with the intent to threaten, intimidate or harass." In theory, I guess that means you can post and share a video of a cop using excessive force on an unarmed person, and as long as you don't "threaten, intimidate or harass" the cop in the process, you'll be in the clear. Maybe caption the video with something like "Cops are great" or whatever.

Then again, lawmakers followed that text with "or facilitate another to threaten, intimidate or harass." I guess that means if someone uses your video of a cop using excessive force to threaten, intimidate or harass the cop, then you're guilty of a crime. Even by numbnut Oklahoma lawmaker standards, that seems unfair and illogical.

Either way, like most laws passed by the Oklahoma legislature that seem to infringe on our first amendment rights, there's a pretty good chance this will end up in the courts and be declared unconstitutional. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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