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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Anonymous Cartoonist Mocks Local Police, Now Faces Criminal Investigation

Posted by on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Renton law enforcement are accusing an anonymous cartoonist—known only as Mr. Fiddlesticks—of criminal cyberstalking for making eight embarrassing, funny video parodies that appear to skewer the Renton police. Court documents state that the videos "did not mention a specific city or police department, but several comments made in the videos were linked to past sexual relationships, internal investigations, rumors, and accusations of sexual orientation within the City of Renton."

The videos—which have since been removed from—also mention "officers having sex on duty... sleeping while on duty, throwing somebody off a bridge." (KiroTV has two of the videos uploaded on their website.) Meanwhile, First Amendment law experts say the city's accusations of cyberstalking are dubious.


The cyberstalking angle doesn't pass the laugh test," Balasubramani [a cyber-law and constitutional lawyer] told KIRO-TV. "It's a serious stretch and I'd be surprised if somebody looked at it and realistically thought these acts actually fit the statute and we could make somebody criminally liable."

When we asked about the more likely scenario, Balasubramani said, "I think they were trying to get at the speaker and they looked around for a statute that shoehorned their conduct into and sent that to Google and said ‘turn over the information.”

So this seemingly flimsy cyberstalking charge has put a spotlight on otherwise innocuous videos that never would've tapped the public consciousness (even as they made a few Renton officers' heads explode). "The department does not like laundry being aired in public," the cartoon bureaucrat states in one video. "We do a fine job of keeping dirt inside."

Apparently. What a fascinating fight.


Comments (12) RSS

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Damn...the videos have been pulled.
Posted by suckit! on August 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
balderdash 2
Always a good sign for the state of a society when the cops respond to criticism with trumped-up criminal charges in retaliation.
Posted by balderdash on August 4, 2011 at 12:53 PM · Report this
It's great that the Reh'en police farce will allow a serial rapist to murder women for a couple of decades... but this mean ol' cartoon has GOT to stop!
Posted by tkc on August 4, 2011 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Zebes 4
Only anarchists, communists and terrorists question the police. Obviously the person who made these videos is one or more of those things.
Posted by Zebes on August 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
america just isn't america any more.
Posted by philosophy school dropout on August 4, 2011 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Uh, Renton police, it's called the Streisand Effect. You should probably look it up.
Posted by jlar on August 4, 2011 at 1:26 PM · Report this
merry 7
Sounds like the RPD is due for a little Constitutional bitch-slapping.
Posted by merry on August 4, 2011 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 8
I'll add this to my list of evidence that most people who become police have an authority complex and actually don't give a fuck about people's rights.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on August 4, 2011 at 1:34 PM · Report this
in-frequent 9
but ... did they get the name?
Posted by in-frequent on August 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Vince 10
They think this is Italy.
Posted by Vince on August 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Just watched two of the vids on KIRO's website. Working in a King County position, I've had my own ears filled with the dirt of these guys' antics...yeah, that kind of stuff happens, and it's stupid. As for the officers, be glad that newer generations of officers are put under a more rigorous hiring process than the older generations. As for the disgusting muzzling attempt/cyberstalking allegation by SPD, I hope it fails and fails hard. Transparency is one of the best weapons we have in reforming this kind of unprofessional conduct. Leave that to certain members of Congress and Senators.
Posted by coswin on August 4, 2011 at 2:48 PM · Report this
These videos are the same internal anonymous gripe videos that dominate Xtranormal's website.

Best Buy was more composed when it had this same problem.

This witch hunt is going to backfire.
Posted by apexnerd on August 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM · Report this

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