WOMAN ARRESTED FOR PUTTING PHOTOGRAPH OF UNDERCOVER OFFICER ON FACEBOOK

Melissa Walthal and her friend George Pickens were arrested in Texas for putting a picture of an undercover police officer on her Facebook page.

The undercover officer testified at Pickens narcotics trial. Pickens and his brother, upset with the cop’s testimony found the officer’s Facebook page. They spread around posters with the officer’s picture on it.

Walthal put the officer’s picture on her Facebook page with the caption, “Anyone know this [expletive]?” For this she is now facing felony charges for what they call “retaliation” 1in Texas.

To say as FindLaw Blotter does, Walthal “outed” the officer twists the truth. Court proceedings are open to the public, Walthal did not expose much by putting the officer’s picture on her Facebook page. She could have just as easily invited all of her Facebook “friends” to come to the trial where they not only would have seen the officer but they would have heard him/her sworn in by his/her name. Calling him/her an expletive is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Can someone tell me why an undercover officer would have a Facebook page. That’s about a stupid as a suspected killer having a Facebook page and putting a picture of him/herself on it with a murder weapon.

Notes:

  1. Sec. 36.06. OBSTRUCTION OR RETALIATION. (a) [amended 9/1/97] A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly harms or threatens to harm another by an unlawful act:
    (1) in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of another as a:
    (A) public servant, witness, prospective witness, or informant; or
    (B) person who has reported or who the actor knows intends to report the occurrence of a crime; or
    (2) to prevent or delay the service of another as a:
    (A) public servant, witness, prospective witness, or informant; or
    (B) person who has reported or who the actor knows intends to report the occurrence of a crime.
    (b) For purposes of this section, “informant” means a person who has communicated information to the government in connection with any governmental function.
    (c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

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