With the link this time... Robert Frese, of Exeter, was arrested by Exeter Police on a charge of criminal defamation of character, a charge which has been criticized by the @ACLU_NH. My story for @seacoastonline https://t.co/4GSDLT8yrg pic.twitter.com/YSjvjtv7JY— Alex LaCasse (@Nomad_Reports) June 1, 2018
A man in Exeter, New Hampshire, was arrested after he allegedly posted comments critical of the local police department.
Robert W. Frese, 62, was charged with criminal defamation of character after he accused a police officer of misconduct.
Frese's encounters with Exeter police date back to 2013 when he was ticketed for failure to yield and stop, The Union Leader reports. He disputes the charges.
In 2014, he was charged and convicted of stalking, according to Seacostonline.com. In 2017, he was convicted of criminal trespassing for "rummaging through a private dumpster."
However, he believes his arrest comes in the wake of a comment he made on May 3 in which he accused Police Chief Shupe of covering up "for a dirty cop.”
Frese claims he is a "target."
"I speak out about what I believe is wrong,” he told The United Leader, adding he had previously posted about his problems with the law-enforcement on Facebook.
Frese alleged the defamation charge as "bogus," adding the police was creating a crime so as to get him re-arrested for violating the condition of good behavior from a previous conviction.
“They know I’ll go to jail if I get convicted of a misdemeanor,” Frese said. “They want to silence me.”
Exeter police has declined to comment on the arrest as Patrol Capt. Stephan Poulin said Shupe could not comment because “he’s the victim.”
The case has drawn the attention of Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Hampshire, who expressed concerns about First Amendment rights.
“There are serious free speech concerns with the enforcement of this criminal statute against the speech of this individual,” The Hill quoted Bissonnette as saying. “Indeed, it appears that the police may be using this statute to suppress speech that is critical of police.”
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