Phoenix police officer posts SB-1070 opinions on Facebook

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – A Phoenix police officer is under investigation for posting his opinions about the law on the internet.

He says Senate Bill 1070 will make him feel "like a Nazi."

People supporting the police officer are calling it censorship saying that on his own time he should be allowed to say what he wants but a spokesperson with the police department says there are policies to follow and they are trying to figure out if he broke them.

Paul Dobson is a 20-year veteran with the Phoenix Police Department. He recently posted a video on his Facebook page for a project called “Cuentame” or “Tell Me’ as it means in English.

The project is part of a campaign to boycott Arizona because of SB-1070.

In the video Dobson says, “How I feel about SB-1070 is, I have a great contempt for it. I’m very emotional about it. This law is pure and simple a racist law." He goes on to say, “This law will make me feel like a Nazi out there."

Now that Dobson's video is published on the web, a citizen reported it to the Phoenix Police Department.

Sgt. Trent Crump explains, “We understand that our employees have very diverse differences, this is not about what somebody said or what the issue is that they're discussing, it is do you follow our policy on it?"

Sgt. Crump tells 3TV their policy states an officer must first get permission from a supervisor who is a lieutenant or higher before making media appearances.

Nevertheless, PLEA, the organization that represents Officer Dobson, counters. Joe Clure, with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), says, “I debate as to whether this is even under the definition of media."

The co-founder of Cuentame insisted over the phone that they are merely a non-profit organization but the police department says the worldwide web is social media.

Dobson also states in the video, “I'm a police officer in Arizona. I work for the largest jurisdiction in the City of Phoenix. I, of course, don't represent the City of Phoenix in any way or the City of Phoenix Police Department. My opinions are my own."

The investigation is ongoing. If the officer is found to be at fault 3TV is told he will be reprimanded but not punished.

Still, PLEA wants the investigation thrown out altogether and they do not want anything to be put in his file.