Renton Police Department engages in adminstalking

This is going to be interesting:

The Renton City Prosecutor wants to send a cartoonist to jail for mocking the police department in a series of animated Internet videos.

The “South-Park”-style animations parody everything from officers having sex on duty to certain personnel getting promoted without necessary qualifications. While the city wants to criminalize the cartoons, First Amendment rights advocates say the move is an “extreme abuse of power.”

KIRO Team 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne holds a key document that really lays bare the city’s intent. The document was quietly filed in King County Superior Court last week. It’s a search warrant accusing an anonymous cartoon creator, going by the name of Mr. Fiddlesticks, of cyberstalking (RCW 9.61.260). The Renton Police Department and the local prosecutor got a judge to sign off as a way to uncover the name of whoever is behind the parodies.

KIRO found two of the nine or so cartoons, here and here.

Apparently, the cartoons never identify individuals, or even the name of the police department. Basically the satirist did a brilliant job playing on people’s insecurities, to the point of provoked them into seeking revenge. Nice.

The complaint suggests this the author has engaged in cyberstalking. What. The. Fuck.

Unless there is some forthcoming bizarre twist in this story, it simply will not stand up in court. The ACLU is already itching for a fight:

The cyberstalking law is designed to protect individuals from serious harassment by other individuals, not to protect government from parodies by employees. People have a right to speak anonymously on the Internet, and employer-employee issues involving YouTube satires should not be pursued as criminal matters. We would very much like to hear from the individual who posted the parodies so that we can know more about the facts of this matter.

Clearly, the Renton police department is using a bullshit argument to get a search warrant to “out” the author (who they suspect is an insider). The author won’t be convicted of cyberstalking, but then that isn’t really the point, is it? The point is to extract revenge.

In other words, the Renton police department is administalking a person exercising their first amendment rights.

I’m sure the courts will do their job and find the author not guilty of cyberstalking. With a bit of luck, they will also rule in favor of the author in the inevitable follow-up civil lawsuit.

Will the press do its job? Will the press allow the Renton police department to get away with this bullshit? If they really do their job, this incident will result in many embarrassing internal affairs revelations, findings of abuse of power, and whatnot. Sounds like they have a “problem of internal culture” in the Renton PD.

And if the blogosphere does its job, the Renton police department will become a target. There will be many more satirical cartoons. There will be essays ruthlessly mocking Renton Police Chief Milosevich (yeah…that’s his name!), and whoever the fuck else is involved in this stupidity.

I haven’t tried one of those “make your own animation” tools yet, but this sure has me tempted!


  1. 1

    manoftruth spews:

    whats funny daryl, is that if it was andrew brietbart publishing jokes about say, eric holder, you’d be on the other side of the issue. not that i disagree with you now.

  2. 2

    Deathfrogg spews:

    And once again, MOT clearly demonstrates for everyone to see, exactly how FUCKING STUPID he is.

    Jesus H Christ man, go back to Russia or Kazakhstan or where ever the fuck you came from. Your kind just ain’t welcome here.

  3. 3

    Randroid spews:

    Personally I think this was a damn stupid thing to do. It doesn’t matter if if the cop looks like a fool, he will ruin who ever made those comics and that’s the point. This is the same theme as punish the person with the camera who films the cops doing stupid things.
    Criticize Authority and you will be punished.

  4. 4

    Mark1 spews:

    @1: Agreed. Funny.

    And here’s Darryl and his other Brother Darryl mocking the cops.

    Ironic, because since he couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag if ever involved in an encounter with a criminal, one would think he’d be nicer to the Cops.


    Good day all, even to you sniveling little tenderhanded Darryl, and your brother.


  5. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m guessing the damage has already been done. Youtube and Google will probably just see a signed search warrant, and turn over the requested info. They don’t have a dog in this fight, they wouldn’t want to pay their attorneys to fight the city over whether or not the search warrant should have been granted.

    But it IS an abuse of legal process, for which the City of Renton and those involved could be held liable in civil court.

  6. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe we liberals should rethink the concept of sterilizing idiots — imagine if MOT and Mark1 get married, and reproduce …

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    When you get right down to it, it sounds like the Renton police chief and some of his detectives don’t have enough work to do, and have too much time on their hands.

  8. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A federal jury has found 5 former New Orleans cops guilty of civil rights violations, but refused to convict any of them of murder, in connection with the police shootings of six unarmed civilians on a bridge in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster. I posted details and a link in the Open Thread below.

  9. 11

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    I think this is great! Anytime the government, whether it’s the police department or mayor’s office, gets to be the subject of some embarrassing stuff, it’s good for democracy and the republic. The government always wants to crush its citizens but vertainly don’t like it when it’s the other way around!

  10. 12

    nwgal spews:

    Folks seem to be confusing “public figure” with “public employee”. They’re also confusing making fun of a department with making fun of private individuals who work for that department. There was enough information in the videos to identify various individuals; and private individuals, even if they’re public employees, deserve proection from false accusations. On the other hand, if what he accuses these people of is actually true, then he always has that defense.