'Concerned' Nutter backs police chief's block of Domelights site

Inquirer staff writer Allison Steele reports:

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said today he agreed with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey’s decision to block the Domelights.com Web site from the police department’s computers, and added that the offensive comments on the site “concerned” him.

Domelights, a local police and fire-oriented forum where users discuss crime news and gossip, has no official affiliation with the Philadelphia Police Department, but it is administered by a police sergeant. Last week the Guardian Civic League, an association of black officers, sued the department in federal court, arguing that officers post racist comments on the site and sometimes visit Domelights.com from their work computers. The lawsuit seeks to ban officers from posting racist comments even on their own time.

The lawsuit sparked a slew of comments attacking league president Rochelle Bilal. Police are now investigating various threats made against her, and she has been assigned officers to guard her during the investigation.

"I'm concerned about any postings or writings that are racially inflammatory, potentially inflammatory, are at a level of vitriol or nastiness that is by anyone's measure offensive,” Nutter said today, who said he has never visited Domelights.com. “Certainly I am that much more concerned about it if public employees may be engaged in that kind of activity, certainly about any alleged threats to the leader of a great organization.”

After the suit was filed, Ramsey blocked access to the site from the department’s computers. Yesterday the site appeared to have been disabled.

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