So back over near my old stomping ground the Renton police have as always continue their tradition of being up to no good. It seems that some cartoonist decided to make fun of the situation, except the department didn’t find it too funny.
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."
Here’s the cartoon’s in question, all nine actually that are being used as evidence in the “cyber stalking” case against the creator.
So for grins I went and looked up RCW (9.61.260) which states:
(1) A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication to such other person or a third party:
(a) Using any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggesting the commission of any lewd or lascivious act;
(b) Anonymously or repeatedly whether or not conversation occurs; or
(c) Threatening to inflict injury on the person or property of the person called or any member of his or her family or household.
(2) Cyberstalking is a gross misdemeanor, except as provided in subsection (3) of this section.
(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.
(4) Any offense committed under this section may be deemed to have been committed either at the place from which the communication was made or at the place where the communication was received.
(5) For purposes of this section, "electronic communication" means the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. "Electronic communication" includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, and electronic text messaging.
The department is claiming that the cartoons were posted by someone within the department for the express purpose of harassing the individuals. From watching that video I can’t help but think this is nothing more than standard banter towards the police department.
Frankly I think some people need to get some thicker skin, especially if you work for the public. If you do stupid shit and someone points it out, even in a cartoon online, deal with it. If you don’t like it, stop doing stupid shit! It’s a fairly simple concept.
I was going to just give this an honorable mention but it wore and me more and more throughout the day. The harassment charge is quite thin, especially since they still have to prove that author intended to harass the specific individuals. So now we get to see yet another municipality in the Peoples Republik of Puget Sound waste tax payer money. Given they ultimately are attempting to intimidate others who would do the same it gains my seal of approval.
State Sponsored Criminal Count: 15
Because someone pointing out your idiocy shouldn’t be allowed if your work for the state.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.