In April, a federal judge ruled that the video — posted with the arrestee’s permission — could remain on the Web as a matter of free speech. The arrestee, Paul Pechonis, and the person who posted the video, Leominster resident Mary T. Jean, claim that the clip shows State Police taking Pechonis into custody without a warrant.
Last month I gave the State Police a Phoenix Muzzle Award for their persecution of Jean, who could be facing up to two years in prison for having the temerity to exercise her constitutional rights.
I don’t know the identity of the person who posted the item to Blue Mass Group, and I’m also concerned that the item links back to Jean’s own Web site — hardly a neutral source of information.
But as this May 12 story the Worcester Telegram & Gazette makes clear, Reilly’s stand on the wrong side of this First Amendment issue is not new. Let’s hope that U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Saylor makes his preliminary injunction permanent.
And perhaps someone can ask Reilly at the next gubernatorial debate whether he would have prosecuted the person who made the Rodney King video.