Friday, August 18, 2006

Massachusetts State Police arrest man for linking website to arrest video

Paul Pechonis was arrested at his home for allegedly threatening the life of a police officer on his website. This was a police officer who allegedly threatened to hold a gun to the head of his son. That arrest was videotaped with the consent of all parties except the police, by a camera in Pechonis' home. The video was placed online by Mary Jean, who has been threatened with felony charges for posting it. A federal judge issued an injunction supporting Jean, which the Attorney General has appealed. Jean has the support of the ACLU of Massachusetts and the lawfirm of Choate, Hall & Stewart.

Jean is the webmaster of, a website critical of Worcester County district attorney John Conte, which is where the video is hosted.

You can also find the video on YouTube. Although the video has been described by some as showing an "invasive search" without a warrant, the officers say they are just checking the home to see if anyone else is present. They are not shown moving or opening anything on camera, and the search is very brief (just a few minutes)--I don't see any evidence of an "invasive search."

Now prosecutors have threatened Pechonis, issuing a cease and desist order for merely linking to the video of his arrest from his own website.

Good job, prosecutors--you've just ensured that there will be much more attention to this video and Pechonis' case.

(Hat tip to The Agitator.)

No comments: