before her house was raided and she was .
I personally am all for more citizen imposed accountability on police forces and an tired of the police's resistance to such efforts. I suppose one could argue that the police need some protection for legitimate undercover efforts, though Virginia apparently does not have a law on its books to this effect, so lacking such legislation it's hard to see how Ms. Storm can be prosecuted (its also unclear if the officers involved were even strictly under cover -- paging Valerie Plame). My sense is that the courts have been very, very, very leery about applying "harassment" laws to monitoring and criticism of public employees.
Update: We had a kind of similar case here in Phoenix with the New Times and Sheriff Arpaio.
Update#2: Radley Balko has more thoughts. He says
Assume instead that these officers were investigating organized crime, or a terror cell. What do you think of this woman's arrest? Photographing, writing about, and criticizing police officers, even by name, should of course be legal. But it's a tougher call when the officers in question work undercover. Naming them, posting their photos, posting their addresses, are all pretty clearly efforts to intimidate them, and it isn't difficult to see how doing so not only makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs, but may well endanger their lives.
I might agree with this. But then it (publishing names of undercover officers) should be specifically illegal in Virginia. There are very, very, very few and very narrow exceptions to the First Amendment acknowledged by law and the courts. A reasonable person should expect that if an exception has not been made for the specific activity in which they are engaging, that their behavior is legal. And besides, one should never have to go to court and wait for a jury verdict for everyone to figure out if an activity is legal or not.
Update #3: I have heard it argued that she was really just tweaking these guys without serving any real positive purpose. Maybe. Could be she just had a grudge. But many of her activities are virtually indistinguishable from those of someone who was really trying to impose some accountability. I have never heard of the effectiveness of public speech being a criteria for the legality of such speech.