Screenshot from South Park TV series
If mocking was criminal then creators of South Park, would be serving life sentences or on death row. In Renton Washington,however the City Prosecutor wants to throw an anonymous cartoonist in jail for mocking the police department.
Several animated cartoons posted on the Internet ridicule everything from police officers having sexual intercourse on the job, certain staff members getting promotions without the required credentials and why to avoid hot tubs.
Since citizens can’t be legally charged with mocking, the courts have accused the person with cyberstalking. A search warrant was filed in King County Superior Court last week for someone who goes by the name of “Mr. Fiddlesticks.” Renton PD and the local prosecutor were able to have a judge sign the search warrant, but the act has already received opposition from first amendment advocates that say the move is a misuse of authority and power.
Despite the critics the Renton Police Department hopes to expose whoever is responsible for the offensive videos. Many believe “Mr. Fiddlesticks” has struck a chord with the PD and they seek revenge.
In the criminal report document it states some of the animated character’s situations are real life incidents. The search warrant says in one of animated videos “discussed a past incident that has already been investigated…..regarding a dating relationship (a female detective) had with a suspect,” reported Chris Halsne for KIRO 7.
Attorney and expert in cyber-law, Venkat Balasubramani, spoke to Halsne to review the videos and the court documents.
“The cyberstalking angle doesn’t pass the laugh test,” Balasubramani told KIRO-TV. “It’s a serious stretch and I’d be surprised if somebody looked at it and realistically thought these acts actually fit the statute and we could make somebody criminally liable,” said Balasubramani.
Nevertheless the Renton Police Department is serious about the case and intends to prove that “Mr. Fiddlesticks” messed with the wrong guys. Even if they like to have sex on the job.