Nevada's Public Safety Commission has set up a website that includes searchable maps of where the state's sex offenders live. The city of Las Vegas then decided to set up its own site, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The problem is that both websites populate their databases with information from sex offenders themselves, people who, as you might imagine, aren't terribly vigilant about keeping their addresses up to date with state authorities. This has led to neighbors harassing non-sex offenders who happened to have moved into residences formerly occupied by sex offenders.
The city says it isn't to blame because . . . it includes a disclaimer on the website stating it shouldn't be used to harass or intimidate sex offenders. Pitchfork-toting crowds, city police say, should be aware of the fact that sex offenders supply the state with it's information, and that they 100 percent accurate. Sounds . . . dubious.
When 71-year-old Harry Berlin, a non-sex offender who's been mistakenly harassed and threatened by neighbors, asked city officials to correct their records they told him he had to ask the people who run the state database. When he went to the state, they told him to go back to the city. So now he's suing. In the meantime, his neighbors will continue to periodically gather outside his door to taunt him.