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Thread: OT: Renton Police Seek Felony Charges Against Cartoonist

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    OT: Renton Police Seek Felony Charges Against Cartoonist

    Police: Mock us in Cartoons, go to Prison
    Jason Mick (Blog) - August 5, 2011 9:15 AM

    A Renton, Washington native has been accused of felony cyberstalking for making a satirical cartoon depicting local crooked cops. (Source: KIRO 7)

    The video reportedly depicts a city bureaucrat, Penny Bartley, talking about covering up wrongdoing. (Source: YouTube via KIRO 7)

    The City of Renton's police department has been the subject of repeated internal affairs investigations. (Source: KIRO 7)

    The city's police chief has defended the search warrant, which many say violates the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. (Source: KIRO 7)
    Police department with long history of internal affairs investigations looks to charge satirist with felony

    When cartoonist "Mrfuddlesticks" decided to make a series of animated videos parodying the local police department in Renton, Washington, they had ample source material from the media and the public record -- the city had suffered repeated misconduct scandals in recent history. The individual used the popular animation site www.xtranormal.com to create a series of videos making fun of the city's police department. Little did they know, those videos would have them facing criminal charges [Scribd] for "cyberstalking".

    I. Satirist Accused of Felony Crime for Cartoons

    In what legal experts are calling a rampant abuse of power, police have taken the first steps towards filing criminal charges against the creator, claiming their creator violated the Washington State cyberstalking statute "RCW 9.61.260." A local judge at the Superior Court for King County -- James Cayce -- has signed off on a search warrant sent to Google Inc. (GOOG).

    The warrant is designed to obtain the real world identity of the cartoonist, who posted the videos to YouTube. The videos were created using the same free animation suite as the famous viral "iPhone4 vs HTC Evo" video. Two of the videos can be viewed here [1][2].

    Article continued at http://www.dailytech.com/Police+Mock...ticle22362.htm
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

    Cartoonist Targeted With Criminal Probe For Mocking Police

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

    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter

    RENTON, Wash. -- 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."

    Only 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. Halsne talked with three nationally respected legal experts who believe the use of the cyberstalking statute is likely stomping on the constitution.

    Article continued at http://www.kirotv.com/news/28758502/detail.html

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    Videos

    Each of the videos are preceded by a short advertisement.

    Video: http://www.kirotv.com/video/28776480/index.html (Job Tips Parody - Profanity warning)
    Video: http://www.kirotv.com/video/28776990/index.html (Promotion Parody)
    Video: http://www.kirotv.com/video/28776583/index.html (Reprimand Parody)
    Video: http://www.kirotv.com/video/28776835/index.html (Lawyer Parody)
    Video: http://www.kirotv.com/video/28756245/index.html (Locker Room Parody)
    Video: http://www.kirotv.com/video/28756506/index.html (Jail Parody)

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    Excerpts from the affidavit of Ryan Rutledge of the Renton Police Department at http://www.kirotv.com/news/28758502/detail.html

    After viewing all the videos, I observed that the main animated character of each video was what appeared to be a Police Officer. This Officer 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.

    -------

    Three individuals have came forward and have identified themselves as being persons targeted by embarrassing and emotionally tormenting comments about past sexual relationships or dating relationships that were discussed within some of these videos. These individuals are all current employees of the City of Renton; Detective Tanya Gardanar, Sergeant Christy Mathew, and Cime Prevention Specialist Cyndie Parks. All three individuals have notified the Renton Police Chief, Chief Milosevich that they would like to be considered victims of Cyberstalking.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Cyber-stalking...seriously?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    Cyber-stalking...seriously?
    Its just three rogue cops trying to annilihate the First Amendment. You know, three of the very few bad apples. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Apparently Renton PD shares a common trait with the common Cockroach. Neither can stand having daylight shed on their activities.

    Maybe the "Task Force" that's investigating Seattle PD can stick around and do some investigating of Renton PD. Violation of one's Civil Rights IS still a violation of Federal Law, isn't it?
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    IMHO: their priority is to find the "traitor" among them who revealed information from internal investigations (which they swept under the rug). Find the 'rat' who crossed the thin blue line, and get revenge. That's the motive. Scare other employees into toeing the 1* attitude and think blue line code of silence.

    On a long shot, they could be worried someone hacked their system Anonymous / Lulz style. Personally, I hope they got hacked, that everything in the videos is true, and that they get hacked again in the future (and again, and again).

    Either way, it's about secrets and revenge and the court is a biased agent of assistance for their vendetta. The incidents in the videos are what should be published every week in the newspaper instead of some stupid 'police beat' list of arrests for shoplifting, drug possession, car prowling, etc. Some kid getting arrested for stealing a stereo is not news, and does not impact society: but police doing what is described in those videos does.

    Either expose and eliminate the bad apples, of have them exposed for you. The kids today have the power, knowledge and stupidity to do it for you

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    what is even more disturbing to me than the fact the police are trying to tear down the 1st amendment, is that a JUDGE signed off on the warrant. Arent judges supposed to know law to be a judge? I guess we are to the point in US history where laws will just be made as we go along, and be damned with the constitution. I look at todays youth, which most could care less about what happens in politics as long as they have in style underwear to show off, and a bumpin bass. It reminds me of the movie Idiocracy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_pro2a View Post
    SNIP IMHO: their priority is to find the "traitor" among them who revealed information from internal investigations...
    This makes sense. We all know cops are not so thin-skinned as to feel "victimized" by some commentary.

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    Thumbs up

    I guess we are to the point in US history where laws will just be made as we go along,
    Obviously you have nto been paying attention to the BATF for the last 20 years or so, they are masters at it.
    +thought for the day+
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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Time to chime in legal eagles. What're the chances of this crap actually standing up in court? I imagine lawyers are throwing themselves at the accused right now.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlepnier View Post
    Obviously you have nto been paying attention to the BATF for the last 20 years or so, they are masters at it.
    Or the IRS who has arrested people for "not breaking" the law.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Or the IRS who has arrested people for "not breaking" the law.
    Forgot to ask when this came up in another thread... cite plz?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    Forgot to ask when this came up in another thread... cite plz?
    http://stopdojtheft.com/Assets_Forfeiture_Report.pdf

    A
    nd I am still looking for the man who was arrested for not doing it in the same day but withdrew on different days. I don't know if I can find it online but it's in one of the recent books I read, could be Nation of Sheep by Judge Napolitano.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    http://stopdojtheft.com/Assets_Forfeiture_Report.pdf

    A
    nd I am still looking for the man who was arrested for not doing it in the same day but withdrew on different days. I don't know if I can find it online but it's in one of the recent books I read, could be Nation of Sheep by Judge Napolitano.
    WOw... umm... how bout the 3-paragraph Readers Digest condensed version?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    WOw... umm... how bout the 3-paragraph Readers Digest condensed version?
    Basically they made it illegal to try to skirt the law about reporting to IRS if you withdraw $10,000.00 in a day.

    Now it was supposed to only target "racketeers" (again a loose definition, with a wide net, used to entrap many). But several business owners who operate in cash have been arrested for "not breaking" the law.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Basically they made it illegal to try to skirt the law about reporting to IRS if you withdraw $10,000.00 in a day.

    Now it was supposed to only target "racketeers" (again a loose definition, with a wide net, used to entrap many). But several business owners who operate in cash have been arrested for "not breaking" the law.
    Structuring deposits, I believe its called.

    I suppose they'll have to lower the threshold soon. After all the taxes they're going to pile on us, nobody's gonna have enough dough to meet the $10K threshold.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Dave-pro2a said"Either way, it's about secrets and revenge "
    I call it " Kid shite", get a grip or get another job. Didn't a bunch of iranian muslims chase a guy around because he drew a cartoon.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    So, what would have been a nice, quiet embarrassment in a tiny town has, thanks to the work of the Renton PD and the prosecutor, become something widely known, even outside the tiny burg, or the even the state of Washington.


    [slowclap]Way to keep things undercover, Renton PD. [/slowclap]

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    I call it " Kid shite", get a grip or get another job. Didn't a bunch of iranian muslims chase a guy around because he drew a cartoon.
    Now that would be a hilarious cartoon! Draw the female whiner-cops in mullah garb.

    Oh! Oh! Wait a minute! I feel a caption contest coming on!

    CAPTION CONTEST!

    Three female cops in burkas with badges, the prosecutor is the mullah. Give me your best caption or dialogue for such a cartoon.

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    This will be nasty & expensive for the cartoonist - sad`

    Public figures have an infinitely low expectation of privacy, significantly higher burdens of proof to demonstrate libel, slander or invasion of privacy, and the smallest of ledges upon which to make their stand against critical comments, speeches, cartoons, lampoons, and any other form of expression regarding themselves in their professional capacity.

    Trying to hitch their wagons on the "cyberstalking" law, which was most clearly NOT intended for this purpose, is ill-advised and IMHO a losing proposition.

    But they will try. They will lean on the office of the prosecuting attorney and threaten to withdraw support, threaten "no confidence" votes and statements, and try to bully the prosecutor into anything they can. And will likely succeed.

    Even though it's a losing case.

    See, prosecutors can't get nailed for malicious prosecution unless it can be proven that the prosecution was initiated without probable cause.

    They get to argue that because there's no precedent for a case like this, and because the alleged "criminal" behavior - posting the critical cartoons online - technically fits the largely-untested cyberstalking law, that there was probable cause to charge the offense...and, accordingly, they (prosecutors) are absolutely immune from charges of malicious prosecution.

    The apparently crooked LEO's have found a way to get back at the cartoonist without any potential legal repercussions, and get their retaliation for free.

    Meanwhile, the cartoonist has to pay a lawyer to fight for dismissal, and is punished financially for something that isn't a freaking crime in the first place.

    The community needs to express its outrage at this nonsense, LOUDLY, and often.

    Remember the folks who brought you these jerks, and vote for the other party next time.

    Best wishes and hopes it doesn't ever come to fruition.

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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    Not sure how they're going to make this a felony

    Cyberstalking is found in RCW 9.61.260 (link: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.61.260). It is a gross misdemeanor except under the following circumstances:

    (3) Cyberstalking is a class C felony if either of the following applies:

    (a) The perpetrator has previously been convicted of the crime of harassment, as defined in RCW 9A.46.060, with the same victim or a member of the victim's family or household or any person specifically named in a no-contact order or no-harassment order in this or any other state; or

    (b) The perpetrator engages in the behavior prohibited under subsection (1)(c) of this section by threatening to kill the person threatened or any other person.

    There is no provision that makes this into a felony just because the "victim" is a law enforcement officer. The only provision that does that is under the "ordinary" stalking statute, RCW 9A.46.110(5)(b)(v)(A) & (B), (link: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.46.110) which only applies in the case of retaliation for or an attempt to influence the officer's performance of their official duties.

    Regardless of the merits, or not, of the claim that the "victims" are being harassed, intimidated, tormented or embarrassed, I'm not seeing felony cyberstalking here, nor does there appear to be any sort of "ordinary" stalking either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Structuring deposits, I believe its called.

    I suppose they'll have to lower the threshold soon. After all the taxes they're going to pile on us, nobody's gonna have enough dough to meet the $10K threshold.
    LOL, I was actually thinking the opposite. That they will have to raise it. If they keep increasing the "money" supply how much longer until $10,000 is just, dinner and a movie for a small family.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    what is even more disturbing to me than the fact the police are trying to tear down the 1st amendment, is that a JUDGE signed off on the warrant. Arent judges supposed to know law to be a judge? I guess we are to the point in US history where laws will just be made as we go along, and be damned with the constitution. I look at todays youth, which most could care less about what happens in politics as long as they have in style underwear to show off, and a bumpin bass. It reminds me of the movie Idiocracy.

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...ail&FORM=VIRE5
    That movie is SO relevant right now it's scary.
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