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State senator hopes to ban 'doxing' of law enforcement officers

Posted at 9:35 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 23:39:42-04

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma state senator is hoping to protect law enforcement officers from those harassing them at home.

State Senator Paul Rosino (R-Oklahoma City) is working to make it a crime to “dox” law enforcement.

Doxing is when someone uses the internet to get information about another person and then uses it to harass them.

In most cases, it’s sharing personal information like addresses, phone and social security numbers online.

This happened to Norman police Lt. Jeremy Garnand.

“They put my family information here in Norman," he said. "But then they also listed my extended family in a couple of communities that are nearby.”

Garnand began noticing people showing up at his house and sitting outside in their cars for long periods of time. It got so bad, he took his daughters to live at their grandparent's house for a while.

“They forget there’s a human element to these positions and these people that are doing this job," Garnand said. “It starts becoming a form of harassment where they’re almost stalking us and constant watching.”

Garnand is not alone. He said this has happened to 50 to 60 officers within the Norman Police Department.

This is why Rosino is introducing the legislation. It would make it illegal to use either telephonic or electronic communication to post personally identifiable information of a law enforcement officer with the intent to threaten, intimidate, harass or stalk an officer, and as a result, place them in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to the officer, their family, household member or intimate partner.

That information would include the individual’s name, birthday, address, phone number, Social Security or driver license number or photo.

It would apply to any law enforcement for the state and local governments and Indian tribes.

“What they shouldn’t have to worry about though is, while they’re at work, that their family and their children or their spouses could also be in harm's way by people putting their personal information online and social media," Rosino said.

Garnand said he’s had many sleepless nights, put in extra security and had information removed from some websites. While the cars have stopped driving by for now, he’s still watching and protecting.

“We signed up for it, but our families didn’t sign up for it," Garnand said. "They don’t deserve that. And especially, I mean, they’ve gotta feel comfortable at home.”

A first offense would be a misdemeanor, while second or subsequent offenses would be a felony crime.

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