Can a police chief arrest you if you criticize him, for criminal
One of the most amazing things I find about the law is that in some states, there are still criminal defamation cases. The government can imprison you for defamation, but the defamation often involves public officials. See, if the Constitution means anything it is that those who are public officials should have a higher bar for suing you even in civil defamation or libel laws. According to the website Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:
"Former police officer Bobby Simmons sued Greg Dupuis, chief of police in Mamou, La. – located about 180 miles northwest of New Orleans – and four officers for wrongful arrest and violating his First and Fourth Amendment rights. According to court documents, Simmons argued that he was unlawfully arrested and charged with criminal defamation for email he sent to the Ville Platte Gazette that questioned the newspaper for not reporting on Dupuis' alleged involvement in an officer's DUI arrest."
While this illegal arrest happened back in 2008, Dupuis is still police chief of this town. Why he wasn't fired within 24 hours of this illegal, unconstituitonal and just plain immoral arrest, I have no idea. Of course, politicans often protect bad cops, and citizens ignore what is going on in their own town.
In the state of Colorado Thomas Mink got arrested for a violation of that state's libel law: According to the Denver Post:
"The case began in 2003 when Mink was a student at the University of Northern Colorado and created the Howling Pig website and published altered pictures of UNC professor Junius Peake. In one depiction, he made the professor look like Gene Simmons of the glam rock band KISS. In another, he put dark sunglasses and a Hitler-like mustache on Peake."
So, the professor then called the cops, who raided Mr. Mink's house after they got a warrant. While charges were later dropped, Mink lost any standing to sue. I have always found the principle that you can only sue an unconstitional law if you yourself are having your rights violated by a prosecution, at that moment, as absurd.
The government should not be in the business of locking someone up because they don't agree with their speech. If there is a harm, it should be a matter purely for civil courts.