Remember Officer Bubbles, the Toronto cop who tried to sue YouTube because he didn’t like cartoons that satirized his abuses of power? Well, some police officers in the US are trying to outdo him in the crooked cop department. The prosecutor and police department of Renton, Washington are trying to arrest a person who used the animation software Xtranormal to create animated videos that exposed the Renton PD’s long history of misconduct. (One of the cartoons is posted above.)
Though the city’s name was never used in the cartoons, Renton police didn’t appreciate their dirty laundry being made public and claimed that the videos constituted “cyberstalking,” a felony that could earn the filmmaker five years in prison. Legal experts say the charge “absolutely does not apply” to the filmmaker, and have called the First Amendment-bashing behavior of the Renton PD an “extreme abuse of power.”
That hasn’t stopped the police from creating a search warrant (posted below) to go after MrFuddlesticks, the name of the YouTube account that posted the animated videos. A local Washington judge James Cayce rubber-stamped their warrant, which will force Google-owned YouTube to hand over information revealing the identity of the filmmaker.
Unfortunately there’s no happy ending to this story, but at least everyone can have a good chuckle at the city of Renton’s quixotic attempt to ban satire in the United States.
(Thanks, Jerrett Zaroski)