Police State: Website Operator Arrested for Criticizing Calgary Police on Website

Visit John Kelly’s website: http://www.rottenapples.info/

John Kelly:

“The information contained on this site is accurate and the information placed on this site has been taken from official documents, videotapes, police files, minutes of meetings, auditors reports, financial statements, Annual reports, press files, media files, correspondences and much more.

I welcome Chief Hanson and any of the individuals named on this site to refute what is being posted. In fact I will go so far as to challenge them directly to refute and or deny what is being posted on this site, and to provide any evidence to the contrary.”

Why did the Calgary Herald not mention the name of John Kelly’s website or give a link to it in this article?

John Kelly, 53, accused of interfering with homicide investigation

Calgary police chief Rick Hanson.
Photograph by: Leah Hennel/Calgary Herald, Leah Hennel/Calgary Herald

Posting critical comments about Calgary officers on a personal website goes beyond free speech, the police chief says.

John Kelly, 53, is accused of interfering with an active homicide investigation and was charged with four counts of libel and obstruction of justice after he allegedly posed as a paralegal and approached the mother of a 2003 homicide victim saying he could help her sue police.

Calgary RCMP started their investigation after being contacted about the case by Calgary’s chief of police.

“In my 29 years, I’ve never heard of an individual being charged under the Criminal Code for libel charges, defamation of character,” said RCMP Supt. Randy McGinnis.

While libel itself is not rare, it is usually handled in civil court, not criminal.

Police Chief Rick Hanson said the rarity of the criminal libel charge speaks to the seriousness of the allegations.

“There are occasions when free speech does cross over and can cross over to where it’s criminal in nature, and that’s where the investigation has to take a look,” Hanson told reporters Friday.

“There’s a world of difference between the civil world and the criminal world. The RCMP and the Crown clearly felt in reviewing the facts that criminal charges were warranted.”

The lengthy ordeal and investigation took a toll on many officers who were named on the website, said Hanson.

“If you’re in policing, it’s not unusual to be the subject of criticism, that’s just the way it is. That’s something that a police officer gets used to. Most officers have a pretty thick skin,” the chief said.

“But when things transition over to where certain actions can be perceived as being criminal and there’s an investigation that leads to charges like that, that’s an entirely different thing than just being criticized.”

The website in question is still running. RCMP have no jurisdiction and can only ask the New York based Internet provider to take it down.

What makes Kelly’s site libellous, said McGinnis, are the false allegations made against two city homicide investigators.

Calgary police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said there are many websites and blogs that are critical of police and he said police don’t have a problem with people expressing their views online.

Brookwell said this website was different because it interfered with an active police investigation.

At his first court appearance Friday, Kelly’s wife said her husband would decline comment to media.

Kelly was released on several conditions, including not having contact with numerous police officers and not adding to his website.

By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald; With files from Sherri Zickefoose
Calgary Herald September 18, 2010

Source: Calgary Herald


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3 thoughts on “Police State: Website Operator Arrested for Criticizing Calgary Police on Website”

  1. John Kelly is a very sick man. I met him and his wife Sharon a few years ago, I believe they met in a mental health ward in a hospital in Glasgow. When Mr. Kelly is properly medicated and not under the influence of alcohol he is a decent enough man.

    However, as part of his illness he suffers from rage and delusions which he believes he is doing “God’s work” and is a messenger for a higher power.

    I believe the Mental Health Act is the best piece of legislation to regulate John Kelly.

  2. Thank you for some other magnificent article. The place else may anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such info.


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