Update on Philip Sandifer

Boing Boing has an update on Philip Sandifer who has previously written for Comixpedia and The Webcomics Examiner.

Back in May, I wrote about Phil Sandifer, a grad student in English at Gainesville's University of Florida who was harassed by campus cops for publishing fiction on his LiveJournal. The cops — acting on a tip that appears to have originated from people displeased with Sandifer's Wikipedia editing style — argued that because Sandifer's story depicted a murder, he should be fingerprinted and have his DNA taken in order to ensure that he wasn't responsible for any unsolved murders.

As I investigated this story, the campus cops stonewalled me, but used the fact that I was leaving messages for them to attempt to frighten Sandifer into allowing them to fingerprint and DNA-sample him, saying that a journalist was on the story and he'd better exonerate himself before the story broke. They went to Sandifer's (righteously angry and uncooperative) faculty advisors and, in front of them, leaned on Sandifer for his biometrics and threatened to retrieve his DNA from his garbage if he wouldn't concede to a DNA swab.

Mitchell J Silverman, an attorney in Hollywood, Florida, used the state's sunshine laws to get hold of the police reports on the event.


Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.