A highly decorated New York City police officer was fired because of his Web site, NYPD Rant, which the New York Daily News calls “a forum for disgruntled cops that is brutally true to its name.” Using the name Polecat, officer Edward Polstein allowed his brethren to take shots at Mayor Michael Bloomberg, top cop Raymond Kelly, pompous bosses, and even the police union. The Daily News says that police brass weren’t amused. They brought departmental charges that have led to the dismissal of Polstein, a housing cop for 18 years. Now unemployed and trying to figure out how to support a wife and three daughters, Polstein defiantly says he did nothing wrong and is gearing up for a battle in federal court. “The Rant was my diary; it was how I felt at the moment,” said Polstein, 43. “It is my constitutional right to vent.”
His attorney, Jeffrey Goldberg, said the ex-cop has the First Amendment on his side. “If the Web site had said Kelly wasthe greatest police commissioner there wouldn’t be a problem,” Goldberg said, “but Kelly’s thin-skinned, and he didn’t like the content.” Polstein ranted that the NYPD was run like the Nazi Party and posted a photo of Adolf Hitler addressing his storm troopers. The NYPD Rant message board averages more than 60,000 visits daily. A police department spokesman said that Kelly gave Polstein a chance to retire with a pension even though a trials commissioner had cited Polstein’s lack of judgment and remorse and called into question his fitness to remain a cop.