You think the laws shouldn't apply to you, and screw with officers who actually believe in that 'No one is above the law' thing you swear to uphold.
That October 2011 confrontation made national headlines and
eventually got Lopez fired. But Watts' actions involving a fellow
officer didn't sit well with many in law enforcement, and not long after
she made that traffic stop, she says, the harassment began. Random
telephone calls on her cell phone. Some were threats and some were prank
calls, including orders for pizza. Unfamiliar vehicles and police cars
sat idling in her cul-de-sac. She was afraid to open her mailbox.
Watts suspected her private driver's license information was being
accessed by fellow officers, so she made a public records request with
the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. It turned out she
was right: over a three-month period, at least 88 law enforcement
officers from 25 different agencies accessed Watts' driver's license
information more than 200 times, according to her lawyer.
Attention assholes with badges: it's very simple, THAT IS ILLEGAL. Period. You broke the law, and some of you idiots did it so you could screw with an officer who actually enforced the law. Because the one she enforced it on was an idiot with a badge.
According to court documents, most of the individual officers named in
Watts' lawsuit did face some disciplinary action, usually a written
reprimand. But lawyers for the agencies have asked a federal judge to
dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that under the U.S. Constitution, Congress
cannot hold police officers liable for merely accessing the
information, but only if they try to sell it. And some claim they did
have a legitimate reason.
Wrong, assholes: IT IS ILLEGAL TO ACCESS THOSE DATABASES FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN LE PURPOSES. PERIOD. And 'I wanted to find her address so I could mess with her' DOES NOT COUNT. But Deity Forbid the entitled who have badges actually be held accountable for what they did.
The legal clash over Watts' lawsuit comes as some police agencies
are seeking changes in the driver's license law itself. Bill Johnson,
executive director of the National Association of Police Agencies, said
law enforcement officials are concerned that lawyers are using the law
to target individual officers who access the information. He noted that
the $2,500 penalty per violation can add up quickly.
"In our view, it was not what the federal law was enacted to
counteract," Johnson said. "I think it would be unfair and outside the
scope of the legislation to think individuals would get whacked like
Easy to deal with, Johnson: don't use the network for non-LE purposes. If you do, expect to pay for it. Simple, isn't it?
NAPO is lobbying Congress to remove the automatic $2,500 penalty and
change the law so that a violation could only occur if there was
"specific intent to secure an economic benefit," according to the
"Your Honor, my client did not sell the plaintiff's information, he only used it to stalk her; therefore it would be unconscionable to demand he pay this penalty! And out of his own pocket!"
And these idiots wonder why they're not liked or respected anymore...