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If a cop tells a family about an arrest that he/she made,

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If a cop tells a family about an arrest that he/she made, and the family member then tells others including identifying the person arrested, is this unethical or libel per se. The person arrested has not yet even had a court date and has not been convicted of the charges placed on him yet. This is a small town and it feels like a violation of privacy.
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While this is unethical, unfortunately it is not illegal. Arrests are a matter of public record. Additionally, libel or defamation has to be based on a FALSE statement of fact.

If the police officer told the truth, and the family member is relating the truth as was told to him or her by the officer, unfortunately that would be insufficient to constitute defamation. (Take for example, every celebrity who is arrested. Arrest videos and reports regarding the arrest are always released to the media prior to the person even having a court hearing).

If the person had not been arrested, or there is false information on top of the arrest (like the person being drunk when he or she was sober, etc.) that would likely constitute defamation, as long as damages from the defamation could be proven.


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Thanks and best of luck!

-Joseph
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