Sunday, April 27, 2014

No free speech in Peoria?

Satire is protected free speech

On April 15, seven police officers in Peoria, Illinois raided the home of Jon Daniel and his roommates. They took various electronics, and kept several residents of the house cuffed for hours. The reason for this raid? Any good student of the current state of American policing might have guesses – was it drug trafficking? Immigration issues? Terrorism?

No. Nothing as disturbingly expected as all that. This particular raid was over a parody Twitter account made by Jon Daniel that mocked Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, portraying him as a Rob Ford-esque party animal and user of recreational substances. Though Daniel eventually marked the account as fake, and then Twitter suspended the damn thing anyway, that wasn’t enough for Ardis, who filed a complaint with the police department. And three different judges signed off on the search warrant that permitted seizing electronics, computer equipment, and mysteriously, "cocaine, heroin, [or] drug paraphernalia."  Police came in, searched, seized, and interrogated for hours

Daniel, the criminal mastermind behind the fake mayor, had "impersonating a public official" dangling over his head for a time, but Illinois state attorney Jerry Brady on Wednesday declined to press charges. Perhaps the cascade of mocking and outrage suddenly directed at Peoria helped that decision. It might just be that impersonating has to be in person according his reading of the Illinois statute.



Anonymous said...

The US is a police state.

Bird of Paradise said...

The mayor sounds lime another Nazi/Socialists who reject the U.S. Constitution and Free Speech no diffirent then the Big Apples former top worm Micheal Bloomberg who totaly rejects the 2nd AMENDMENT like all typical liberal eletists scumballs

Anonymous said...

I would guess that if Jon Daniel had his way it would be Jim Ardis being charged with impersonating a public official