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'Officer Bubbles' Sues YouTube Commenters Over Mockery 594

Posted by samzenpus
from the Ricky-and-Julian-disapprove dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Officer Bubbles' — the Toronto Police Constable who was videotaped threatening a G20 protester with arrest for assault over the crime of blowing bubbles at a police officer has had enough of mocking videos and comments on YouTube. He has decided to sue everyone involved (commenters included) for more than a million dollars each. The complaint is detailed in his statement of claim — most of the comments seem fairly tame by internet standards; if this goes anywhere, everyone is going to have to watch what they say pretty carefully. The lawsuit appears to have been successful in intimidating the author of the mocking cartoons into taking them down."

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'Officer Bubbles' Sues YouTube Commenters Over Mockery

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  • Mad Dogs and Policemen.

    • by NFN_NLN (633283) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:16PM (#33949762)

      Mad Dogs and Policemen.

      So this is why police don't like to be filmed?! It makes them accountable for their douchery after the fact.

      Looks like the court of public opinion made its ruling on Officer Bubbles, I sure hope the official court sees things the same way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by cez (539085)
        I used to blow bubbles when I was little... then he moved to Canada :(
  • Countersuit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:00PM (#33949492)

    They need to collectively countersue him for legal fees.

    • Re:Countersuit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:09PM (#33949640) Homepage Journal

      "Men will never be free until the last policeman is strangled with the entrails of the last banker"
      -- Diderot, or so.

      • by tunapez (1161697)

        "Men will never be free until the last policeman is strangled with the entrails of the last banker"
        -- Diderot, or so.

        Where do the lawyers fit into that scenario?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NFN_NLN (633283)

      They need to collectively countersue him for legal fees.

      Seriously, how is this sue worthy:

        Pussymcfats wrote in response, “officer bubbles probably looks at himself in the mirror a lot.”

      Officer Bubbles was abusing his power then and he's trying to do it again.

  • Why is it anyone with even the smallest position of power in government seem to think they can just sue everyone over the stupidest things.
    • You might be new here (on planet earth), but positions of authority have little to nothing to do with the propensity of people to sue each other.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:20PM (#33949838) Journal

      Because they're used to exercising petty authority, and cannot stand having their miniscule power challenged. This has been the case since humans first built cities.

      Just be glad this retard doesn't have the power of life and death like his contemporaries had in ancient times. Just goes to show - the best measure of civilization is the ease with which a citizen can point and laugh at a stupid official.

      • by magarity (164372)

        Just be glad this retard doesn't have the power of life and death like his contemporaries had in ancient times
         
        Ancient times? You need to travel more - most cops do have that power in any developing country you could list.

  • ugh (Score:2, Funny)

    by pak9rabid (1011935)
    Well..it's good to see that it's not only cops in the US that are douches...
    • by grub (11606)
      Careful, Officer Bubbles will sue you for $1M as well.
      • Re:ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shadowfaxcrx (1736978) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:39PM (#33950124)

        The amusing bit is that somehow I missed hearing about the whole Officer Bubbles thing until he decided to sue, which brought him up in the news again. Had the little jackass just kept his mouth shut and taken his well-deserved lumps for arresting a girl for assault-with-a-deadly-bubble, I'd never have known about him. I'm sure there are many others out there in the same boat. So he's brought quite a bit more shame and embarrassment on himself with this latest stunt.

        I wonder if he'll sue.

        • Re:ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:56PM (#33950396) Journal

          Streisand effect.

          This guy was seriously power tripping in the video. Why should anybody be surprised to find that he responds similarly to criticism? I suspect that even the officer next to him thinks he's a jackass, judging by how hard it looked like she was struggling to bite her tongue.

          Congrats, "Officer Bubbles". In my opinion, and that of most of the Internet viewing public, you just proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you do not belong in uniform. Cops who are incapable of treating others with courtesy have no business interacting with the public. Give that guy a desk job, make him a crime scene investigator, whatever, but take him the heck off of any sort of duty where he interacts with the public on a regular basis.

          P.S. To "Officer Bubbles", I hope the people you are suing hit you with a SLAPP-back suit so fast it makes your LAWYER shit his pants... followed by having your sorry ass brought up on barratry charges.

          Welcome to the real world, where criticism is protected speech (unless it is threatening or libelous in nature, which opinions almost by definition cannot be).

        • When I first read this I though some officer had the unfortunate last name of "Bubbles" and that the protestor was blowing bubbles as a mockery of his name. I was all set to have a smidgeon of sympathy for the officer. But then I saw the video. Nope... "Bubbles" was not his surname, he was just a dick.

    • Re:ugh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:06PM (#33949584) Homepage Journal

      Yes. In Canada they're Royal douches!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Trails (629752)

        We even have Royal Mounted Douches. Nothing is douchier than a horse's ass sitting on a horse.

  • Great idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:05PM (#33949572)
    And suing people making sarcastic comments on the internet is going to make everyone respect him... sure, let's go with that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138)

      It's certainly going to erase the bad impression of him from the internet. Especially now that he's on legal record as "officer bubbles."

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:07PM (#33949618)

    Anyone who actively seeks becoming a cop (or a politician) has already proven they are fundamentally the wrong person for the job.

    • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:15PM (#33949750)
      For elected leaders I can maybe understand that logic, but that doesn't make the least bit of sense for police officers. Would you prefer there to be some sort of draft for police officers? So the cop responding to your 911 intruder call is some scared housewife or accountant who got drafted last month and is liable to shoot the first thing that moves when they come through the door?
      • That might be preferrable to the, shall we say, gentlemen who show up at the wrong house and manage to shoot up your dog and charge you with assault and battery. At least your housewife/accountant managed to show up before bodybags were needed...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664)

        No, but the people who normally seek those jobs are just thugs. They don't want to help they want to crack skuils and be a big tough man.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by interkin3tic (1469267)

        Would you prefer there to be some sort of draft for police officers?

        For some police, it's not like we'd be doing worse, but no. I think the answer is instead to realize that most people going onto the police force have some tendencies that really need to be ironed out. Currently, they seem to be encouraged. If you've ever known someone who was going into the police force, you may have found that they weren't the nicest people before hand, but afterwards they're damn near intolerable. That has been my experience anyway.

        Maybe make police repeat 100 times twice a day "I am

    • Depends on who's choosing to be a Cop. Personally, I love it when a Cop is ex-military. Case in point: I've had to call 911 at 4am on a thug threatening everyone that walks through my Appartment gate for not giving him money. He stands there like a bouncer.

      Cop came and hunted him down in the complex. A second Cop came on-site from dispatch. They cuffed him and placed in the back of the patrol car. As I was watching from my window, I could see him reach for the officer (attempted choke-hold with arm while cu

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:44PM (#33950198)

        So they tased a person who was cuffed?

        Those pigs should be in jail and you are the trash.

  • I don't think it's all that hard for an adult to understand that blowing soap bubbles into a police officers face is going to get you arrested, and he did give her the courtesy of a warning first. I don't really see the controversy there. Well, not unless people are unable to disentagle the word "bubble" from the "soap" part. Blowing a rather effective eye irritant in a cops direction isn't likely to end well, no matter if it's in bubble or other form.

    it does seem like he could have a thicker skin abo
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Have you ever seen soap bubbles?
      They cannot exactly be aimed at the eyes.

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:19PM (#33949806) Homepage Journal

      I don't think it's all that hard for an adult to understand that blowing soap bubbles into a police officers face is going to get you arrested, and he did give her the courtesy of a warning first. I don't really see the controversy there. Well, not unless people are unable to disentagle the word "bubble" from the "soap" part. Blowing a rather effective eye irritant in a cops direction isn't likely to end well, no matter if it's in bubble or other form.

      By that logic, allowing children to play with soap bubble is child endangerment.

    • With attitudes like this, it's not hard to see why people are wondering if cops truly are adults, because their power hungry temper tantrums and blaming the victims are more in line with the thinking process of a toddler.
    • by Myopic (18616) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:56PM (#33950392)

      It's not? I'm an adult and I find it hard to understanding the criminal basis of blowing bubbles. In fact, I think blowing bubbles is a pretty excellent example of a thing that is nearly impossible to consider assault.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      he did give her the courtesy of a warning first

      There was no courtesy in what he did or how he did it. It was very aggressive, threatening, and downright rude, and it is very obvious from the video that he was posturing and rather enjoying himself.

      If anything, he did the best he could to provoke an angry (and possibly violent) response from the girl and those around her. After watching this, I can't help but wonder how many of the violence outbreaks during those protests could be similarly provoked by the police.

  • If you're Canadian, you might have a problem, but Americans can tell this douche to stuff it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      If you're Canadian, you might have a problem, but Americans can tell this douche to stuff it.

      From the safety of their free speech cage.

  • This DEFINES it!
  • Mr Bubbles, you seem to have a fundamentally wrong idea as to how the Internet works and an understanding of the Streisand Effect will be invaluable in the coming months as you are mocked not only by not only YouTube commenters, but also journalists who will undoubtedly pick up the story and your own friends as they read about it.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:15PM (#33949752) Homepage Journal

    Sue me.

  • by Godai (104143) * on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:18PM (#33949794)

    The initial incident was pretty silly and I don't have much sympathy for the officer being ridiculed for that, but my understanding is it elevated past that quite quickly. From other articles I've read, there were cartoons & posts about him beating people and what not. You can argue that it was for fun but there was a note in one of the articles that libel laws cover comments & such on websites, so if you do it you'd better be careful its not defamatory.

    Its a kind of tricky line. Anonymity is a powerful and -- often -- good force on the Internet, but there are clearly times when it can be a detriment. Its not hard to design a thought exercise: imagine that newspapers were printed anonymously or articles within them were written anonymously. Yes, I know sources remain anonymous, but in those cases the author of the piece takes responsibility for any libel (well, them and their publisher). If a paper could just publish blatant nonsense that was incredibly defamatory, I doubt many of us would stick up for them. So why do we stick up for some assholes getting their kicks on a bulletin board? It probably didn't matter that much ten years ago, but with YouTube and Facebook and all the viral crap, stuff that would have limited to a few people having a chuckle can now range unpredictably large. Hell, just look at the whole cyber-bullying phenomenon.

    Make fun of the officer for being an idiot with the bubble lady -- he deserves that. I'm not sure he deserves some of the other crap, or even if you think he does, if its defamatory (let the lawyers argue that) and you say it, you can be held accountable. There have always been limits on speech -- American 1st amendment not withstanding -- so I don't know why people think the Internet is somehow a special magical case.

    • by js3 (319268)

      what does anonymitiy have to do with it?

    • by onkelonkel (560274) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:24PM (#33949920)
      Parody. When you purposely exaggerate certain aspects of a situation in order to show how ridiculous it is. The officer Bubbles video is textbook parody. No more no less.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138)

      Defamation laws vary by country quite a bit, so I can only comment from the perspective of someone from California. But in a place where people openly post cartoons of our president dressed as Hitler, standards of defamation seem to be pretty solidly on the open-dialog side.

      Videos in question are here [cartoonbrew.com].

      Adam Josephs quickly made himself a symbol of the tiny everyday police abuses that build deep resentment in the community. This was not something someone did to him: he did it to himself. It may not be as p

  • by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:18PM (#33949802)

    Citizens need the right to record any public police action, and any police action in which the individual citizen is involved.
    This needs to be a law now.

    The public needs a clear law allowing for the recording of police actions and allowing for the recording to be owned by the citizen and protected from seizure by police officers.
    Some police do lie, some police do overstep the bounds, some police protect fellow officers.

  • This guy must be really pissed-off about missing Kent State where he could have killed a protester for placing a flower in his gun. So in memory of Kent State student Allison Krause who was killed on 4 May 1970 and said, "Flowers are better than bullets", after placing a flower in the barrel of a national guardsman's rifle, 40 years later I remind Officer Bubbles that, "Bubbles are better than bullets."
  • Blowing Bubbles is wrong unless he consents.

    Silly Slashdotters.

  • ...of the lawyer who convinced "Officer Bubbles" to file this lawsuit. This is taking being a magnificant bastard to all new heights! What better way to mock "Officer Bubbles" than by ensuring the video clip he wants most to disappear gets spread all over the world? How better to screw over the asshole than by racking up legal fees you know will accomplish the very opposite of what was promised?

    This is great!

  • Well, where are the "mocking" cartoons? Who has a link?
  • I love the fact that the complaint includes transcripts of all the offending cartoons. They're hilarious and it saves me the trouble of tracking them down.

  • by eyenot (102141) <eyenot@hotmail.com> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @02:45PM (#33950236) Homepage

    I am not a doctor or a lawyer.

    I'm reading the document, and I think some things are clear:

    "Josephs is a police officer who abuses his position of authority"

    "Josephs mistreats members of the public"

    "Josephs is incompetent and unfit to be a police officer"

    "Josephs has psychological problems"

    "Josephs is a narcissist"

    "Josephs bullies members of the public"

    "Josephs is egotistical"

    Even if they weren't true following the protest event that was publicised on YouTube, they are true now that he's filed the lawsuit.

    Hopefully he's forced to actually present evidence of damages and not just to sit their weeping on the stand and crying about how his lack of dignity was publicised resulting in a lack of public respect for him.

    If he were to emphasize the statement under Sec.IV.40, ("Damages... Josephs has received threats of physical harm") I'm sure the public would have to remind him that police officers sign onto a job that is not popular with the public, and that threats against their person for so much as taking the job are something to be weathered.

    Sec.IV.41 notes that the defendant acted "callously" towards Josephs, and who knows -- in Canada, maybe there isn't really freedom of speech.

    What's obvious to me, though, underneath all of this, is that Josephs intends to amass over a million dollars and probably to use it to boost a career in entertainment. That's what people usually do when internet publicity ruins their lives -- they take the internet up on the offer and try to make good of their own charicature.

    At any rate, it's boring, I never heard of it before and I'm not likely to hear of it again, since it's Canadian, not America.

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