There is an old cliché, "can it play in Peoria." Note, if you are from Peoria I am sorry for repeating a line that I am sure you are truly sick of hearing. Well, maybe it is true in this case of Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis going after the parody twitter account holder, @peoriamayor, by getting the city's police chief, Steve Settingsgaard to get a warrant to find the evil villain behind the account.
After a judge for some reason signed off on a warrant of an account clearly labeled as a parody, Comcast was forced to turn over his address. After that, another judge signed off of a search warrant of the house of one Jacob Elliot.
These warrants were absurd. Signing off on a warrant where is no actual crime and then signing off looking for drugs is absurd. Even if Elliot was guilty of impersonation or fraud, what does that have to do with drugs? Nothing!
If he was guilty of those things, then at most there should have been an arrest warrant or a search warrant limited exclusively to a search of his computer.
This is one more example of how the war on drugs destroys our civil liberties.
Do these judges even read the warrants before they sign them or have they become rubber stamps for prosecutors and police? I would like to know how often these judges have not approved of warrants. If a judge won't follow the law and probable cause when it comes to issuing warrants, he/she shouldn't be on the bench.
By the way, the search warrant against Eliot contained no factual information that the twitter account was a self-described parody site. Kind of important, don't you think?
But you can breathe easier knowing that Mr. Elliot's house contained a small amount of marijuana. See, this is a covering offense. The prosecutor, judge, police chief and especially the mayor knew these charges wouldn't stand. That there would be a lawsuit by Elliot in the future, though they wouldn't have to personally pay it (as corrupt cops or politicians never have to do) but the taxpayers of Peoria.
But finding the marijuana was the magic bullet for them, supposedly justifying an illegal search and arrest. Ironically on the booking report of Elliot there was nothing about his parody site. In other words, this was a revenge arrest by a vengeful mayor with a corrupt police department.
I hope I haven't been too hard on Mayor Ardis and his band of merry cops, they might come after me next. Luckily I don't have any marijuana, but I do have a two litter of Mountain Dew at home. They can't arrest me for that, can they?