When you post something onto Facebook, you must do so with the expectation that the world will see it. In one case, a dad may lose his rights to see his daughter over what was purported to be a joke. In another case, a Chicago police officer is suing a cop over comments made on the social media site.
Police officer Lance Handzel lived in the Gresham district on the South Side of Chicago about one block away from 27-year-veteran Captain Juan Morado, reports the Chicago Tribune. Handzel was assigned to cover the same neighborhood where the two officers lived.
Relying on his experience in the neighborhood, and perhaps a neighborly feud with Captain Morado, Handzel allegedly made several Facebook comments about Morado and his family on the Facebook pages of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a WGN reporter. In his comments, Handzel accused Morado’s family of being “known gang members” who “are in the business of selling narcotics,” reports the Tribune.
In addition, Handzel said that Morado used his position in the department to intimidate him, and interfere with homicide and drug investigations involving Morado’s son. Morado denied all the claims and filed a lawsuit against Handzel for defamation.
Generally, defamation involves making a false statement that is published for all to see, which damages the reputation of the plaintiff. In this day and age, any comment made on Facebook, Twitter, or other media site is presumably published for the world to see. It doesn’t take much effort to publish, and a decision made in the heat of the moment may have severe consequences.
A Chicago police officer is suing cop Lance Handzel for several damaging comments made on Facebook. Handzel faces a defamation lawsuit for $50,000 and one of his available defenses is proving that the comments he made were true. He may have a hard time showing that Juan Morado’s family are gang bangers and that the captain thwarted murder investigations into his family.
- Find a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Police Capt. Juan Morado Sues Officer Lance Handzel Over Alleged Slanderous Facebook Comments (MyFox Chicago)
- Defamation, Libel, and Slander (FindLaw)
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