Police Privilege


Officials in Lincoln, Nebraska, have apologized for falsely labeling Shayla Funk a criminal on TV and online in a Crime Stoppers segment. But they are still appealing a a judgment of more than $250,000 against the city for libeling and slandering Funk. A city attorney admits police made statements that were untrue and defamatory but insists those statements are privileged because cops made them in an attempt to solve a crime.

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  1. And nothing else happened.


  2. “The decision to appeal in no way is meant to negate the fact that what was posted about Ms. Funk was wrong, and we are extremely sorry that this happened to Ms. Funk and sincerely apologize for any embarrassment or inconvenience this may have caused Ms. Funk.”

    Powers labeled the apologies, when combined with the appeal, a contradiction.

    “They cannot claim on one hand they accept responsibility and on the other say the judge is wrong — it’s one or the other.”

    Given the chance, I’m sure that police would take it back, and by “it” I mean the apology.

    Maybe Funk should sue John Walsh, too. America’s Most Wanted led to the ridiculous Crime Stoppers genre of reality television.

  3. This is why the news reports always use the word “allegedly”. Can the news start dropping the “allegedly” and, when they’re accused of defamation when they get the facts wrong, use the “Freedom of the Press, bitches” defense? FotP is right in the freaking Constitution, FOP is not. Which one should carry more weight?
    With that being said, there are elements of knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth spreading falsehoods that need to be satisfied. If you’re going to claim that the cops knew or should have known the falseness of what they were saying, you’re not going to be able to bring up the “reasonable person” standard to determine what the cops should have known. What the cops could reasonably be expected to know is dertermined* by the “retarded baboon” standard.
    *(See the Sup.Ct. case of Hurr v. Durr.)

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