Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A Seriously Blue Knight Loses To The Supremes

Holy One Adam Twelve, 9th Circuit! How's an honest cop going to make an extra buck now:

'Code3Stud' Loses Supreme Court Decision

A unanimous Supreme Court decision upheld yesterday a police department's right to fire an officer who used his off hours to make and sell X-rated videotapes with police themes.

The unsigned opinion, which was issued without formal briefing or oral argument, was also an unmistakable rebuke to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had ruled in favor of the officer earlier this year.

The case involved a San Diego police officer who used a popular auction Web site, eBay, to sell sexually explicit videos. In the tapes, the officer appeared both in and out of a police uniform, though not one used by his department.

....The high court took particular note of one video....

"The debased parody of an officer performing indecent acts while in the course of official duties brought the mission of the employer and the professionalism of its officers into serious disrepute," the justices wrote.

....While online, the officer apparently never used his real name. Instead, he used a handle, "Code3stud," which is a reference to an urgent police call.

The 9th Circuit's opinion pointed out that there is no evidence that the city ever received a complaint from the public about the officer's videos or that anyone outside the force ever figured out that "Code3stud" was a member of the force. Investigators in the department became suspicious after seeing an out-of-date San Diego police uniform for sale on eBay. They later signed onto an adults-only section of the Web site. There they recognized the officer from the photos "Code3stud" had posted.

....[The losing attorney] said his client got a job working for the federal government soon after he was fired from the police force.

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