Criminal Justice

Ohio Cops Think This Guy Should Go to Jail for Making Fun of Them

The Parma Police Department says a parody Facebook page disrupted public services, a felony.

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Parma Police Department

Anthony Novak's parody of the Parma Police Department's Facebook page included what the Cleveland Plain Dealer describes as "obviously fake news posts," but this is not one of them: The Parma Police Department wants to charge the 27-year-old with a felony for creating the page. 

The felony, disrupting public services, is punishable by up to 18 months in prison—a pretty steep penalty for irking local police officials. "We believe the material that Novak posted on the fake account crossed the line from satire to an actual risk to public safety," Lt. Kevin Riley told The Plain Dealer. "We presented the facts of this case and the investigation to our law department, and they agreed that Novak's actions were criminal in nature."

It is hard to see how. Novak's page is no longer online, but there is nothing in The Plain Dealer's description of of it that sounds like a crime. Here is one of the items:

The Parma Civil Service Commission will conduct a written exam for basic Police Officer for the City of Parma to establish an eligibility list. The exam will be held on March 12, 2016. Applications are available February 14, 2016, through March 2, 2016. Parma is an equal opportunity employer but is strongly encouraging minorities to not apply.

The test will consist of a 15 question multiple choice definition test followed by a hearing test. Should you pass you will be accepted as an officer of the Parma Police Department.

That's a riff on this actual notice from the Parma Police Department. In case such jokes were too subtle for some readers, there were other clues that the fake page was not legit. It was categorized under "community," as opposed to "police station, government organization," as the real page is. Under "About," it said, "We no crime." And then there are the "obviously fake news posts" that The Plain Dealer mentions but does not, alas, quote.

Lt. Riley complains that some of the material was "derogatory" and "inflammatory." Still not a crime. As far as "disrupting public services" goes, it's not as if Novak was intercepting emergency calls or otherwise interfering with police duties.

A grand jury will decide whether a criminal charge is justified. The Plain Dealer reports that Novak's lawyer "said that the case might have the potential to raise some First Amendment issues." It just might.

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  1. Are the Parma police chicken? Chicken Parma?

    1. If you have to explain it…

      1. Chicken parma you taste so good.

        1. They are not chicken, they are simply enforcing the law. It is well established that inappropriately deadpan parody crosses the line into criminality ? and neither “good faith” nor “truth” is a defense ? when a criminal intent can be attributed to the actor; in this instance, the intent to disrupt public services. Other forms of criminal intent include, for example, the intent to damage an academic reputation by exposing alleged plagiarism in a fake “Gmail confession” in which a distinguished university department chairman purportedly writes “If I had given credit to this man, I would have been banned from conferences around the world.” See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

          http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          1. The two cases are different.

            1. Yes indeed, despite the foolish “First Amendment dissent” of a single liberal judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case, mockery of an alleged academic plagiarist through crude, yet pompous “Gmail confessions” is clearly different from mockery of a police department through a Facebook page designed to look exactly like that police department’s page. However, again despite that silly dissent of one judge, parody is not a defense (as Facebook rightly understood), and if the intent element of the crime of disrupting public services is satisfied in this case, then the line has been crossed.

          2. the wimply spineless department will have a high bar to clear in PROVING criminal intent. If defendant can even suggest a plausible motive other than criminal intent to disrupt (such as a Freedom of Speech protected parody, a joke, poking a bit of fun, or even something like venting for a wrong perpetrated upon him, the state will have failed to PROVE (to whatever standard is set) criminal intent. It is VERY difficult to PROVE what goes on within a man’s cranium……. especially to a high standard of proof, such as “beyond a reasonable doubt” or even “with a preponderance of evidence”.

            1. Come now, it has been a long time since anyone took these silly standards seriously. If he can be made out to be sufficiently unlikable, the jury will certainly do their job and convict him. The appellate courts will, if necessary, invent some new standard and retroactively affirm, just as in the criminal “satire” case documented at the link I’ve supplied above.

              1. Maybe so, but posing a someone and making disparaging remarks about “one’s self”, as if that person is making them is not satire but fraudulently defaming that person.
                Putting out a message that says:”I am the person, who uses the screen name ‘Quixote’ on REASON and I like to sexually molest newborns” is not satire but makes a possibly slanderous statement about you, that reasonable people could believe was made by you.
                This case is similar in that the individual is posing as being the actual police department of a municipality and making disparaging and probably slanderous comments that a reasonable person – well, as “reasonable” as anyone who uses Facecrack – could believe were true.
                The example given is actually not a bad one as far as this is concerned. Steering the average Facecrack user to think the department discourages minority applicants is a very damaging impression to leave. Riots have started over less.

                1. Retired-Fire, you seem to be charitably assuming not only a great deal about “reasonable” people, but also that I (possibly) do not like to sexually molest newborns. If you had reason to believe that I did like doing that, then there are some who appear to argue that such a statement would not constitute an act of “fraudulent defaming.” You would, in fact, be exposing a vice of mine, and you would be doing so in an inappropriately provocative manner.

                  What I do agree with you about, is that exposing such vices (including plagiarism, if the accusation is indeed true) through such inappropriate means is outrageous and should be punished to the full extent of the law, despite the “First Amendment dissent” of a single liberal judge (who today, fortunately, no longer serves as a judge on account of his advanced age). What I disagree with you about is calling this sort of thing “defamatory.” Let us at least be clear and honest about the core of the matter.

                2. …wow I thought Quixote was into rodents of unusual size?

                  1. Chipper, thanks for joining my anti-Troll campaign. But tell me this: if you had a film of me interacting with rodents, and distributed it under my name, I can see someone thinking it might be an unpleasant invasion of my privacy, and it would certainly damage my reputation, but would it be defamatory? I’d really like to understand Retired-Fire’s perspective on this important matter, but he seems to have run away with his tail between his legs.

    2. It’s pronounced FAR-VA

      1. Census taker’s liver with farva beans you taste so good.

  2. You can’t make fun of the LEO class, because they’re better than you. In fact, they’re so much better than you that somehow making fun of them gets under their skin even though they’re supposed to be better than you.

    1. Escher meets Voltaire?

        1. How dare you inflict that upon me. And on a Monday morning.

  3. We presented the facts of this case and the investigation to our law department, and they agreed that Novak’s actions were criminal in nature.

    “We presented our case to ourselves and, as usual, we found that we were correct. Hurting our feelings was, in fact, putting lives at risk because it might teach commoners that we don’t have total authority.”

    1. We could save a lot of tax dollars if we just abolished the DA’s office and let the police handle that function.

  4. In all fairness to the police in this case, considering past stories about people with high IQs being disqualified from police work, I can see why they’re worried that legitimate police aspirants could be fooled by the fake website.

    1. Why put any effort in being fair to the police, when they put all their effort into being unfair to all of us? Seems to me the logical neutral ground is being unfair right back, to achieve a neutral result.

      1. I’ve got to work on my sarcasm tone.

        1. I hear tell you can download any of a small variety of sarcasm fonts. I’ve got it on good authority those fonts work rather well. Almost as well as a medium sized wordchipper……..

  5. In olden times, insulting the king’s men was the same as insulting the king himself, and punishable by death.

    This guy is lucky.

    1. Why thoughts as well, seeing as how the current maximum punishment of disrespect of cop is potentially a summary execution, he got off kind of light.

      1. My thoughts…

        TIWWNAEB!

  6. Isn’t the obvious question: what public services were being provided via a fucking Facebook page?

    1. The public service af admiring those brave boys in blue.

    2. You probably don’t even have a Facebook. Weirdo.

    3. You probably don’t even have a Facebook. Weirdo.

      1. What’s weirder; no Facebook…or double posting?

        J’ACCUSE

        1. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU SIR.

        2. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU SIR.

          1. Okay, now the squirrels are just being mean.

            1. They are in thrall to me! Next: animated gifs everywhere!

              1. Awesome! I got this great gif of a dancing baby i been meaning to use…

            2. criminally so. Arrest them, and call the Grand Jury. Don’t care what you call them, just CALL THEM. Something. Woodchipper fodder, at least…..

          2. Both thumbs? Oh snap!

  7. Heroes.

  8. The Plain Dealer reports that Novak’s lawyer “said that the case might have the potential to raise some First Amendment issues.”

    Jesus, dude. Get a new attorney.

    Out of curiosity, how did they track him down? Subpoenaed Facebook and ISP records?

    1. Apparently, yes.

    2. Unless the lawyer was being sarcastic with the “might have the potential to raise” weasel words, instead of the straightforward “violates the First Amendment”.

      1. The whole statement from him suggests that he was talking about what defense tactic he was considering, but I don’t know why you would publicly hedge on that regardless of the uncertainty in line of defense.

        1. just doing exactly what the website page was alledgedly doing…… poking fun at the ?ber-important hooh hahs who’ve got their knickers all twisted up over a silly kid poking fun at them. Things must be pretty boring around Parma these days. Aren’t there any catfights to moderate any more? Sheesh what are the times coming to anyway?

    3. Public defenders don’t come with a full set of the law books these days, but they are given the first 6 seasons of Law and Order on DVD as a how to guide.

  9. Tulpa approves of these charges.

    A grand jury will decide whether a criminal charge is justified.

    I’m sure Novak is just the ham sandwich the DA is looking for.

    1. Might that not be a hero sandwich?

  10. If this case doesn’t end with this guy owning the entire city of Parma, he chose the wrong lawyer. Jesus fucking Christ.

    1. Hopefully his civil lawyer is better than his criminal defense one…

      1. He potentially could ownin which he is housed.

        1. own the jail in which he is housed.

          Fuck you squirrels.

    2. That is what I was thinking. New lawyer.

      Hell, I’m no lawyer but I could spend a couple of days on this case and have these motherfucking idiots hat in hand begging me to tell them what they could do to get me to go away and leave them alone.

    3. Jesus WHO?

  11. LF: Why have a link to propagate the fake page? Joining in on the fun? I find that unnecessary
    March 4, 2016

    Yes, LF, people might mistake a link that says “parody” for the real one.

  12. disrupting public services servants

    FTFY

  13. Parma police can go fuck themselves with a rusted rail spike. Just one. They can share.

    1. One giant one. All at the same time.

    2. No woodchipper? Too soon?

  14. I got a parody for the Parma PD…

    A pair o’ deez nutz!!!

    Heyyyy!

    1. +1 Oh Snap

      1. +2 deez giggles

  15. Stupid cops and a kangaroo court system are a joke. Clearly there is a shortage of REAL crime in that city.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

    1. That link isn’t to REAL crime in that city. Ooh, I see what you did there. Guess I have to get the new spyware update.

    2. Anonbot is truly one of us.

      1. Mankind will not be destroyed by chess-playing robots. Mankind will be destroyed by cynical, sarcastic bots. And that day may be near.

        1. “I learned it from you!”

  16. So if that photo is from the Parma PD, does that mean they arrested and booked Novak? Or are they just posting it to pre-shame him before the grand jury convenes?

    And if they did arrest him, are those jail stripes, or is that the shirt Novak was wearing when they picked him up?

  17. From the article:

    YumYumEatUmUp
    14 hours ago

    @freedom567 I don’t understand what pissed them off? I heard the first 14 questions were related to your name, age, height, weight etc…

    From the (legitimate) Facebook page:

    Does the test require applicants to color within the lines?

    There’s hope!

  18. STEVE SMITH WRITING NEW PARODY ACCOUNT, APPARENTLY


    For Real Parma Police Department Page
    17 hrs ?
    NEWS STORY SHOW ILLEGAL WORDS WRITTEN BY TERRORIST ANTHONY NOVAk. WORDS MAkE PARMA POLICE CRY. PARMA POLICE GET ANGRY AND PUT MAN IN STRIPE SUIT AND CAGE. OHIO EXCITING PLACE TO LIVE OBVIOUSLY.

    1. There is still hope.

    2. Someone got sense of humor, obv not cop.

    3. The apparent creator of this page wrote:

      it was late and i was tired when i made this. i’m here to turn myself in for felony feelings hurting.

      HA

      1. Never mind, just some guy. But still. Funny.

    4. REAL STEVE SMITH MUCH MORE ELOQUENT. RAPESQUATCH LIKE TO READ AND WRITE….AND RAPE!

  19. “We presented the facts of this case and the investigation to our law department, and they agreed that Novak’s actions were criminal in nature.”

    Get a new law department.

    “We believe the material that Novak posted on the fake account crossed the line from satire to an actual risk to public safety,”

    Is that a fact, Lt. Kevin Riley? Because you’re such an expert in the finer art of satire, right?

    How about this one? /turns woodchipper on.

    1. Include your address so they know where to serve the subpoena.

      1. Shouldn’t these heroes be out there fighting real crime instead of protecting their vanishing reputations?

  20. Sometimes I love people:

    http://bit.ly/1MMTT8u

    1. For all other times, he has the doll.

      1. Yes. And it looks like Episiarch’s mom!

  21. Has a prosecutor actually agreed to bring this before a grand jury or is this yet another case of the police arresting someone they flat out know will never be charged? In other words, the arrest itself and the trip to jail is the intended punishment. I would think any prosecutor actually bringing this before a judge would be laughed out of court and given a stern warning to get his/her act together.

    1. Your optimism has no place here.

  22. The Parma police dept site has a tip line.

    I sent them a tip.

    “Here is a tip. After you write Novak a big, fat check fire Lt. Riley and stop stepping on your own dick.”

    1. Please tell me you actually said that.

    2. but that’s impossible. Riley can’t be stepping on his own, it ain’t long enough. And it will be shorter yet after its run through the woodpeckerchipper.

  23. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail. +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.ReportMax90.com

  24. It is hard to see how. Novak’s page is no longer online,

    Speech chilled. Great success.

  25. “Parma?!” /Ghoulardi fans

  26. I just wish Novak had a big, shit-eating grin in that mugshot. Probably not allowed to do that, but still. . . .

  27. One time in band camp Lieutenant Kevin Riley put his flute in his pussy.

  28. Parma, home of the Ghoul.

    Plain Dealer, still good for doing the time warp. Again.

  29. Where is Drew Carey when you need him?

  30. Dear Parma PD: You suck. Come and get me.

  31. Thou shalt not speak ill of the state.

    The reason Godwin’s Law is inevitable is because the conditions are so apropos.

    When you already live under the iron fist, the comparisons are rather evident.

    Dipshit cops. They can due nothing to un-sully their idiot reputations.

  32. Prison Planet here we come!

  33. Didn’t Jonathan Swift experience reprisals for “A Modest Proposal?”

    Top down, my way of the highway government bureaucrats take themselves way to seriously.

  34. If the Parma PD can’t take the possible heat arising from being part of government in a land where the citizenry enjoys Freedom of Speech, then perhaps they need to go elsewhere, possibly applying to be hired by the government of some police state, of which there are several.

  35. “What a Maroon” as Bugs Bunny would say. So stupid. Had the cops simply ignored the miscreant his website would have faded into obscurity along with the rest of the 1 billion websites or so sites on the net. But bureaucrats being bureaucrats and rules is rules, they felt compelled to spend their tax stipend on stupidity. No big deal, they can always ask for more funds for much needed safety equipment or something equally urgent-sounding to make up the deficit.

  36. This reminds me of Hillary’s contention Bernie is not allowed to say anything negative about her. I wonder if Vince Foster got a similar warning.

  37. Not even the worst recent story about Parma police:

    http://www.copblock.org/156991…..s-freedom/

  38. Before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser
    http://www.JobToday60.com

  39. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.net-jobs25.com

  40. Maybe The Onion will smell blood and be attracted. Offissa Pupp could then punch in own weight class. At times like this I reeeeally miss the National Lampoon!

  41. They don’t call it Farcebook for nuthin’

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