Washington State Prosecutor Declares Satirical Cartoons Are a Form of "Cyber-Stalking"

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Kill all cartoonists

From Popehat

The Renton P.D. is butthurt over a series of YouTube animated cartoons poking fun at issues in their ranks — including, apparently, officers having "dating relationships" with suspects. The videos — apparently created on xtranormal.com — have unidentified cops and city officials engaging in discussions lampooning departmental scandals.

Renton Chief Prosecutor Shawn Arthur has sought and obtained a a search warrant directed at Google to find the identity of the author of the YouTube videos, using the pretext that the Washington state law against "cyberstalking."

Thanks to the terrible language in the above-mentioned law, it's possible that Arthur could make life unpleasant for the video author. Watch the videos here

UPDATE: I'm a doofus. Jacob Sullum blogged this yesterday

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  1. What the fuck caliber judge agrees to issue this search warrant?

    1. All for the State and the State’s agents. Fuck everyone else — second-class proles to be milked and abused — free speech? Oh, please!

      1. From Popehat:

        The Renton P.D. is butthurt…

        Stop right there. Sorry, but any writer who uses “butthurt” and expects to be taken seriously by any serious person is mistaken.

        1. Why so serious?

          1. ‘Cause you can’t have it both ways?

          2. seriousness is severely overrated.

        2. What term better describes the Renton Establishment’s reaction to these cartoons better than “butthurt”?

    2. What the fuck caliber judge agrees to issue this search warrant?

      Better question, why is a Washington judge signing search warrants directed to seize “evidence” outside of their jurisdiction (California)?

      Army of disgruntled Reasonoid lawyers?

  2. The truth, the half truth and nothing but the official statement.

  3. I agree this looks bad, but we don’t have all the facts yet. There are certain situations where this type of reaction could be warranted.

    1. Pay me a salary and I’ll suck your cock.

    2. Enlighten us. In what way could anonymous satire (not directed at any individuals) constitute cyberstalking?

      1. LiT, get with the program here…That is what one particular State Sponsored Fuckstick always says so Montani was making fun of him.

        1. #sarcfail

          1. damn

        2. Really? Does he always say that? Fucking nuance, how does it work?

      2. We can’t know until the internal investigation is complete.

        1. “We can’t know [the following has been redacted]”

    3. It looks bad — BAD — but there’s a procedure!
      A PROCEDURE!

      1. He would say blame the legislature, and in this case, it is part of the problem. Horribly vague and broad laws are open to abuse like this.

        1. Listen, judges can and will interpret laws to satisfy those they want to please. The only thing you can hope for is that the judge doesn’t give a damn about making anyone happy. Then there might be some partiality there.

    4. A Dunphy parody! That’s funny every time!

      1. This one was subtle, though, so it was more amusing than most.

  4. I forget where, but I already saw a local news story with a headline like,

    “PD Investigating Cyberstalking Videos”

    with a picture of a dark computer screen with evil-green letters.

    So, like, the media, man. Fuck.

    1. Was the computer running a pirated copy of Netscape, to be all sinister and stuff?

      1. i tried to find that on reddit from the other day, but i couldn’t remember what lame-ass program it was.

  5. So, how does one go about getting a DA and a judge both disbarred for their egregious assault on the first amendment? Can anyone file a complaint with the bar in their state, or does it have to be another attorney?

    -jcr

  6. So, how does one go about getting a DA and a judge both disbarred for their egregious assault on the first amendment? Can anyone file a complaint with the bar in their state, or does it have to be another attorney?

    -jcr

    1. Typically, you need an attorney. And then, unless the attorney has so flagrantly violated the court’s or the bar’s rules, it requires some of that “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy” evidence.

  7. Ah, Renton. Where dreams go to die, and law enforcement goes to become even greater shitheads than usual.

    1. Are you butthurt too?

  8. Well since the Google CEO is a big fan of Obama the Oppressor, let’s see what Google does with that warrant.

  9. I’ve seen Renton P.D. in action–Dodge Charger cop cars smoking their tires in heavy traffic, black uniformed combat cops racing around.

    They ultimately were able to arrest some drunk bum sitting on a curb.

    1. They ultimately were able to arrest some drunk bum sitting on a curb.

      Without killing him? Color me impressed.

    2. Our local SD changed from the what used to be standard sheriff’s khaki to snazzy black uniforms with lots of silver buttons and trim. The poor deputies were suffering low morale and the new uniforms helped them gain professionalism.

  10. This cyberstalking law… i wonder if it was named after somebody…

    1. Well, hello.

  11. This deja vu blows my mind!

    https://reason.com/blog/2011/08…..not-like-l

  12. I also saw the breathless report of the purported crime last night on Fox13 news–it seems laughable on it’s face. I’m thinking if the accused gets a decent lawyer there could eventually be a few $ for him, given the utterly ham fisted behavior by the Chief. What an idiot.

  13. This must be what dunphy was talking about when he told me cops get held accountable all the time and don’t just get to make it up as thy go along. They definitely don’t think they are he law.

    1. Well, I am sure cops do get held accountable for bad action all the time. Dunphy is not making this up. The problem is that many other cops get away with ridiculous shit and make shit up as they go along all the time as well.

  14. Who will (cyber)bully the bullies?

  15. They ultimately were able to arrest some drunk bum sitting on a curb.

    He lived?

    What a bunch of worthless pussies.

  16. Renton Police Chief Kevin Milosevich says, “The purpose of these videos was to embarrass, torment and harass specific members of the police department and other city employees.”

    Manservants! Bring the fainting couch! Quickly!

    1. No kidding. Under this logic, Sarah Palin could sue the hell out of Tina Fey. Sure, he doesn’t mean this.

  17. Sorry, but any writer who uses “butthurt” and expects to be taken seriously by any serious person is mistaken.

    Sorry you’re butthurt.

    SRSLY

  18. Thanks to the terrible language in the above-mentioned law, it’s possible that Arthur could make life unpleasant for the video author Reason commenters.

  19. Renton Chief Prosecutor Shawn Arthur…can fuck himself with a rusty steak knife.

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