Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Man Arrested for Mocking Mayor on Twitter Wins Big in Civil Suit"

"An Illinois man who was raided and arrested last year for creating a parody account of his town’s mayor on Twitter has won $125,000 in a civil rights lawsuit settlement."

"Jon Daniel, 30, the man behind a parody Twitter account with the handle @peoriamayor, was accused of 'impersonating a public official,' after mayor Jim Ardis became upset about the mockery.

"'Im bout to climb the civic center and do some lines on the roof who's in,' one tweet read.  Another questioned, 'Who stole my crackpipe?'

"Ardis argued that these tweets sounded reasonable enough that it sullied his reputation, as people might not be able to tell the account was fake.

"'Hurt feelings do not free government from the responsibility of respecting Mr. Daniel's freedom of speech and freedom from being arrested for that speech,' ACLU attorney Karen Sheley said in a statement. 

"The settlement also includes the agreement that the town of Peoria will send a directive to the police department reminding them that parody and satire is excluded from criminalization under the impersonation of a public figure law.

"'The directive makes it clear that parody should never be the predicate for a criminal investigation and that the action against Mr. Daniel should never be repeated again,' Sheley stated.

"The agreement with the city will also cover legal fees, bringing the total taxpayer-funded cost of the raid to around $250,000."

1 comment:

legal stranger said...

Blogging can pay the bills if you piss off the right person.