Posted on | April 8, 2013 | 40 Comments
REQUESTING STATEMENT ON HARASSMENT POLICY
Monday, April 8, 2013 1:22 PM
As I am certain you are now aware, it has been reported that the office of Howard County State’s Attorney has refused to prosecute persons accused of online harassment, in apparent contravention of Maryland Criminal Statutes 3-803 and/or 3-805. In fact, it has been reported that a member of your staff, Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Brewer, advised persons complaining of such harassment, “If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland,” and, “Stay off the Internet if you don’t want to be harassed.”
While I understand that authorities have wide discretion in choosing which complaints to pursue as criminal matters, these reports of official indifference to online harassment are certainly disturbing, and I wish to verify their accuracy. Has your office issued any statement clarifying your policy on this matter, or do you intend to issue such a statement in the future?
I ask this question as a reporter, a career journalist with more than 25 years in the news industry, but also as a former Maryland resident who left the state last year to escape the increasingly hostile climate of harassment that is apparently tolerated by officials there. While I am not a lawyer, and thus not qualified to state whether any particular action qualifies as a crime under Maryland statutes, I know right from wrong, and the harassing behaviors complained of in these reports would seem clearly wrong.
If you have any comment, please contact me via this e-mail address, as I hesitate to include my phone number or address in communication with your office.
ROBERT STACY McCAIN
Correspondent, The American Spectator
Today is Everyone Blog About the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office Day. John Hoge lists the participating sites:
R. M. Nixon (Deceased) / Dead Republican Party
The Other McCain
Batshit Crazy News
Ameryx le Gallois
The Lonely Conservative
Raging Against the Rhetoric
Allergic to Bull
Certainly, this list will grow longer before the day ends. Dustyn at Monitor’s Access reports that the number at the office of Howard County State’s Attorney’s Dario J. Broccolino is (410) 313-2108; the number for Wayne Kirwan, the public spokesman for the office, is 410-313-3002.
My object is to get some kind of official statement from Broccolino or his spokesman, as to why there seems to be no legal redress for those complaining of harassment. Readers communicating with Broccolino’s office should be civil and polite.