Miami Beach Police Unaware Of The First Amendment, Arrest Guy For Twitter Parody Account

from the do-they-not-have-the-1st-amendment-there? dept

Back in 2014, the police in Peoria, Illinois raided the home of a guy, Jon Daniel, suspected of running a Twitter account parodying Peoria's mayor, Jim Ardis. Despite knowing no laws had been broken, Ardis pushed hard to prosecute the person for daring to mock him on Twitter. It didn't end well. A year and a half later, the taxpayers of Peoria were on the hook to pay Daniel $125,000 to settle the lawsuit filed against the city (with help from the ACLU).

Someone might want to share that story with the police in Miami Beach. Last week they arrested a guy for having a Twitter parody account of the police spokesperson, Ernesto Rodriguez. The story sounds fairly familiar to the Peoria story. As in that case, police are claiming that the "crime" committed by Ernesto Orsetti here is "falsely impersonating" a public official. Yet, as the Miami New Times notes, just a little while ago Rodriguez (the real one) joked with reporters and made it clear he considered it a parody account. He also appears to have made some tweets that are clearly laughing off the parody account.


It seems like the approach that the real Rodriguez took to this, laughing it off, makes a lot more sense than going and arresting the guy -- especially given what happened in Peoria.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2017 @ 11:00am

    Wait...

    this is mayor

    Jim "Trill as fuck" Ardent right?

    and yea, they are aware of the 1st amendment... they just did not give a fuck... there is a difference.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2017 @ 11:05am

    It used to be "German sense of humour is not a laughing matter", but it is more looks like US now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christenson, 11 Oct 2017 @ 11:13am

    Way to go, @real ernesto rodriguez!

    You have just proven the parody account holder's case for him. Noone was fooled!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McGyver (profile), 11 Oct 2017 @ 11:44am

    Well, as long as it's the taxpayers that foot the bill for these miscarriages of justice, then nobody is really hurt... Right?
    Taking action without fear of consequences must be an awesome thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CanadianByChoice (profile), 11 Oct 2017 @ 12:02pm

    Got a question

    What, exactly, is "falsely impersonating"?
    If "impersonate" is to "pretend to be (another person)", wouldn't "falsely impersonating" mean that you're pretending to be yourself? or, maybe, NOT impersonating someone else?
    Now, if that had read "falsly personating", it would be a different matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 11 Oct 2017 @ 12:39pm

    Open Mouth Insert Foot and Repeat

    Police chief: Parody “threatened to damage the reputation” of police department.

    It is wholly unbelievable that any person can damage the reputation of the Miami Beach police department any further than what the police department has already damaged on it's own.

    These thin-skinned self-entitled tax-feeding losers in police cruisers are their own worst enemy.

    Holding the tax-feeding losers accountable would put an end to many of the abuses but unfortunately that rarely happens as federal/state court jesters all too keen to defend them and act to shield the perpetrators using the specious court derived legal theory of absolute/qualified immunity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2017 @ 12:53pm

    They're aware...

    they just don't care.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 11 Oct 2017 @ 1:35pm

    So does 42 USC 1983 apply?

    Could making the people who actually arrested him pay for the settlement, instead of taxpayers, curb future abuses?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Oct 2017 @ 4:25pm

    It seems like the approach that the real Rodriguez took to this, laughing it off, makes a lot more sense than going and arresting the guy -- especially given what happened in Peoria.

    Yeah, now if only they had actually done that, instead of arresting him and then laughing it off, everyone could have had a good chuckle.

    That however, is not what they did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 12 Oct 2017 @ 3:34pm

    Or perhaps Miami should heed this story from Ohio, about another moronic police department arresting their facebook parodist, and are now being sued by him for that.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/10/man-acquitted-of-felony-charge-over-facebook-polic e-parody-page-sues/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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