[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]
I occasionally hear from critics who believe, despite my long years of service as cop in some of L.A.’s most troubled neighborhoods, that I’m a coward for choosing to use a pseudonym in my writing. I’m occasionally reminded of the wisdom of that choice, and indeed a story out of Chicago does just that.
Last month I wrote this piece for Pajamas Media, in which I commented on the sad state of affairs in Chicago and its police department. I linked to an anonymous blog post, the author of which was purportedly a Chicago police officer. That author has since been identified as Lieutenant John Andrews, a 25-year veteran of the department.
Andrews is now under investigation for bringing “discredit” to the police department. Superintendent Jody Weis, of whom Andrews was critical in his blog post, did not comment on the specifics of the case but said, “I don’t think leaders should sit and throw rocks at respective agencies or at those who are trying to address the challenges.”
My own writing efforts began in 2000, during the tenure of LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, under whom the department – and the city itself – suffered badly. I wrote often on the particulars of that suffering (e.g. here), and I was reliably informed there was an effort to identify me, one that I was pleased to see end in failure. I’ve continued to be a burr under the management saddle, and two subsequent police chiefs – and any number of their underlings – would no doubt have preferred to see me take up golf or some other hobby that would keep me away from a computer.
I think Adams’s blog entries will ultimately be found to be protected by the First Amendment, but not before he endures a lot of grief, the same type of grief I would most assuredly experience if my own identity were to become known in the LAPD.
I’ve been at it for ten years now, and I hope to continue for a few more until I retire from the LAPD. After that, the mask comes off.