Officer Bubbles!
April 1, 2011 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Constable Adam Josephs of the Toronto Police is now known across the internet as "Officer Bubbles" for his questionable shenanigans during the recent G20 summit protests. He is now suing YouTube for hosting videos related to in incident.
posted by long haired child (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Good. Let this fucker go broke trying to sue a company that literally has more money than God.

I doesn't make up for a real public inquiry, or actual accountability, or anything like that. At this point, I'll take what I can get. to Harper for making me actually agree with Rosie DiManno for once.

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:08 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Has there been any update to this, or this a dupe?
posted by inedible at 7:09 PM on April 1, 2011

I want to sue everyone that has ever seen me do anything embarassing ever.
posted by Samizdata at 7:09 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

"If you post another video of're going to be arrested for assault. Do we understand each other? Right."
posted by Demogorgon at 7:13 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]
posted by parki at 7:15 PM on April 1, 2011

I got a paywall on the "suing YT" link.
posted by telstar at 7:15 PM on April 1, 2011

Fuck this guy.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:29 PM on April 1, 2011 [10 favorites]

Barbara Streisand might want to take him aside and give him some words of advice.
posted by mullingitover at 7:30 PM on April 1, 2011 [7 favorites]

What if her bubbles have Drano cross-contamination?
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:33 PM on April 1, 2011

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by scrowdid at 7:36 PM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Headline: Cop looks for reasons to arrest people, white people shocked to discover this can happen to them, too.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:39 PM on April 1, 2011 [25 favorites]

Notably, the YT embedded in the first link has been "removed by the user." Also notably, 1911 mode doesn't make Officer Bubbles look like any less of a power-tripping dick.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:43 PM on April 1, 2011

I think the bigger problem is that other cops usually don't talk assholes like this down. They're more loyal to their own corps than they are to actually upholding the law and serving the citizenry. Until we see some kind of real paradigm shift in policing, departments are just going to slide more and more towards being paramilitary outfits that see all citizens as hostile. He's a nice face for our hate, but he's enabled by an entrenched mentality that empowers him and others like him to assume tyrannical status.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 PM on April 1, 2011 [38 favorites]

This Canadian version of police brutality is adorable.
posted by vorpal bunny at 7:55 PM on April 1, 2011 [7 favorites]

The only part of this post that isn't a double (i.e. completely redundant links, though different URLs) is behind some sort of Globe and Mail paywall.

(As if, G&M!)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:04 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

From the original statement, to the condo-cams, to the follow up: There is literally almost no way that this entire sequence could've been better documented on video.

Imagine many things very much like this happening in your community, without video evidence, and with real consequences for anyone who stands up for themselves, and then replay that scenario hundreds of times every night.

That's how we're living.
posted by rollbiz at 8:06 PM on April 1, 2011 [9 favorites]

First link is a 6 month old story and it gets worse from there.
posted by iamthefly at 8:16 PM on April 1, 2011

This Canadian version of police brutality is adorable.

It was considerably worse at more than one point.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:21 PM on April 1, 2011

Here's my account of a "bad cop" incident I had here in Worcester. Sorry for the uninteresting info, but this is exactly what I sent to the Bureau of Professional Standards in my complaint against the officer:

I was on Foster Street, approaching Main St. It's three lanes, a left turn lane, a right turn lane, and a lane to go straight. I was going straight, so I was in the center lane. The light was green to cross Main. In the left turn lane was one car proceeding slowly. In the right lane was a car inching forward, with a police car behind it. No one was in the center lane besides me, but it seemed a bit odd that people were moving into the intersection slowly so I slowed down as I was about to cross Main.

So I start to cross Main, and as soon as I do I see red lights to my left, a UMass ambulance. I stop immediately, but now I'm somewhat in their way, so after I see it's not going to go around me, I proceed through the intersection onto Maple St. Immediately, I see the blue lights go on behind me, so I stop just before Maple and Elm, where the Unum parking lot is....

Cop car pulls in behind me, and cop immediately gets out of his car, without calling himself out on a stop or radioing my plates as procedure would dictate he do. There's simply no way he did it, he was out the door of his car in two seconds.

This is where I did my first admittedly stupid thing: I was smoking a cigarette. I don't want to be billowing smoke or smoking while this guy comes up to my window to talk to me, and I have no ashtray, and I don't want to fumble around my car to see if there's something else I can put it in (because I know how much cops love it when you fumble around during traffic stops), so I dropped the cigarette out my window.

Officer comes to just behind my window, and asks me if I've been drinking. I honestly answer no. Then he asks if I've been smoking pot or taking prescription drugs, and I honestly answer no. This is where it gets crazy...

Officer whips open my door and grabs me by my fleece at the shoulder and pulls me out of my car. I stumble to keep up with him as he physically pulls me out of my car and onto the street. He's swearing at me and telling me about how I have no idea what a civilized society is, and points to my cigarette butt. Fair enough. I pick it up, apologize, tell him that I didn't want to be smoking in my car when he came to my window. He ignores me, and launches into a profanity-laden tirade about how I have bumper stickers for "caring about all of these animals", but the only person I obviously care about is myself (huh? My only bumper stickers are for a bluegrass festival, a bluegrass radio station, NPR, the Greater Worcester Land Trust, and one that is an American flag that says "Think: It's Patriotic")...

On and on goes the berating, he's swearing at me, telling me what a selfish piece of shit I am, etc. He says that I blew through the intersection and cut off an ambulance, and this is further evidence that I only care about myself. I tell him that I am very sorry and that I always yield to emergency vehicles but that I had no idea one was coming. Anyone who knows that section of the city knows that it's all tall buildings, you can't see beyond the intersection until you're in it, which is when I saw the ambulance. I only proceeded past the ambulance when it became clear he was waiting for me instead of going around me, which he had tons of room to do. I just wanted to get out of his way so that he could get where he was going...I was just going home, I was in no particular hurry.

So officer yells for another minute or so about what a horrible goddamn fucking shithead I am (I am paraphrasing him), and then starts totaling some ridiculous number of things he could charge me with: $450 for littering (Guilty, caveats as explained above, but he had me dead-to-rights for this), $500 (increased in his second overture to $1500) for failure to stop for the ambulance, even though I had no way to see it and I was proceeding cautiously through a green light, if I hadn't been creeping, that ambulance would've T-boned me, and so on. His final total ended around $5000, no joke. Plus a $1500 insurance surcharge. Then he asked me again if I had been drinking (hadn't drank a drop), asked me if I had a valid MA drivers license (I certainly did) but never asked me to show it to him, and told me again that I was a "shitty, selfish asshole" and that I was lucky he "had somewhere else he had to be". So ended the experience.

My second admittedly stupid thing, and the reason that I know nothing will actually be done about this, is that I didn't get his name or his badge number. Honestly, I'm ashamed to say that I was just trying to get out of there and didn't ask the questions I should've because I was worried about getting put in jail, having my car towed, and various other things that would've cost me money I don't have.

The bottom line is this: He had me for littering, absolutely. My stupid mistake, as mentioned above. As for the emergency vehicle, I had no idea. I don't know the MA General Laws inside and out, but I know from being a firefighter and an EMT in CT years ago that lights and siren did not excuse us from obeying traffic signals. I don't fault the ambulance driver at all, but as far as I know, if he had smashed into me while I had a green light at an intersection where I couldn't see him until he entered the intersection, I wouldn't have been at fault.

I've lived in Worcester for almost seven years, and I've been driving for 11 years. I have no accidents, and no tickets. I have never been stopped for a moving violation, ever, in 11 years of driving.

What I should probably be upset about is this guy yanking me out of my car by my shirt, but actually what I'm most upset about is having to listen to him tell me in a profanity-laced tirade what a horrible, shitty, awful, and selfish person I am, and being unwilling to argue with him because I knew how unofficial the stop was to begin with. It was him and me on a side street with no one else around, and I had no idea what he might feel empowered to do at that point.

Oh, by the way: My registration is valid, but my sticker is pretty obviously out of date because the RMV sent the replacement to the wrong address. In his entire tear-apart of me as a person, the officer never even noticed it or mentioned it.

I think it's important to say that the vast majority of the experiences I've had with police in the city have been positive, in a couple cases they've really gone above and beyond to help me out. All it takes, though, is one dickhead. I think this video shows that pretty well...

Our Bureau of Professional Standards is required to respond to citizen complaints, by the way. It's been almost five months, and I haven't heard a word.
posted by rollbiz at 8:26 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

What a degenerate asshole.

Why can we not have cops that make me give them respect?

posted by hal_c_on at 8:38 PM on April 1, 2011


Because the decent ones usually don't get plastered all over the internet for not being evil.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:40 PM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

I'm astounded that this idiot consistently finds ways to make himself look more ridiculous. How do you do, Officer Bubbles?! How?
posted by dobbs at 8:45 PM on April 1, 2011

Because the decent ones usually don't get plastered all over the internet for not being evil.

I believe this to be true. But without prosecution of those who abuse their powers, it becomes difficult to trust those who are truly serving and protecting, because you don't get to pick who you deal with when it's your time to interact with the police.
posted by rollbiz at 8:46 PM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

Not the only G20 news today - Police cleared of wrongdoing in injury case
posted by HLD at 8:51 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

SysRq: The only part of this post that isn't a double (i.e. completely redundant links, though different URLs) is behind some sort of Globe and Mail paywall.

I can't really be sure, since of course I'm not willing to pay G&M to read the article, but the whole "suing youtube" thing isn't new either. Search the previously for "suing youtube".

Not trying to call anyone out here, but if there is indeed new progress to this case, could someone post a link to a non-paywalled source? Otherwise, yeah, nothing I didn't read 6mo ago, here on the blue.
posted by inedible at 8:57 PM on April 1, 2011

Because the decent ones usually don't get plastered all over the internet for not being evil.

Yeah, you're right Burhanistan. But seriously...couldn't at least ONE of those cops have taken office bubbles to the side and said something like "hey man...why don't you just guard the donuts for a while...I'll take care of this puny 95 lb girl".

So when stuff like this happens...I not only loathe the cop there...but also all the other cops there to witness. Yeah, you too female officer with a stupid ass grin on your face accepting blindly what the veteran office to a member of your own sex.

I mean damn.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:25 PM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

Our Bureau of Professional Standards is required to respond to citizen complaints, by the way. It's been almost five months, and I haven't heard a word.

Did you send it in via certified mail?
Is there any proof you sent it?
Is there any proof they received it?

If a dude pulls you out of your car, physically and verbally ASSAULTS you (yes), you shouldn't expect that organization or the people aligned with that organization to give a shit about your letter unless you cover your bases.

Another tactic you can take is to send a letter everyday. Everygoddamn day of the week.

You can also send 10 letters a day. Just print and send. It'll get someone's attention. Worst case scenario:

In all cases, the officer(s) as well as the complainant(s) are notified of the disposition. Contact us at (508) 799-8694 with any questions or for more information.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:34 PM on April 1, 2011

From 1:00 in the first video-

"The discussion's over."

Not by a long shot, Bubs.
posted by cybrcamper at 9:43 PM on April 1, 2011

I just now clicked on the wikipedia link for "de minimis". Never heard of it before.

"In Canada, de minimis is often used as a standard of whether a criminal offence is made out at a preliminary stage. For a charge of second degree murder, the test being: "could the jury reasonably conclude that accused actions were a contributing cause, beyond de minimis, of the victim's death."[8]"

Could anybody with knowledge of this rule tell me how this would relate to this case, if at all?
posted by hal_c_on at 10:13 PM on April 1, 2011

hal_c_on: I hand-delivered a copy to the police station, and mailed a separate copy. I copied the city counselor for my district. I copied the ACLU. My councilor responded that she would follow up pending the police response. No one else responded at all. Trying to get somewhere since...

Anyway, to get re-railed: The reason I shared my story was to get at the main point, which is that if any officer feels the need to exact revenge like they do on the guy in this video, imagine what they are doing to people who don't have cameras outside their homes or who don't feel like they can fight back.
posted by rollbiz at 10:17 PM on April 1, 2011

De minimus refers to a wide range of policy initiatives where basically for minor things the enforcement agency doesn't bother. I assume that the reference the OP was intending was that while blowing bubbles *MIGHT* technically be assault (like shooting a nerf gun at a cop), but it was so trivial that it's not worth police spending time on it.

Second degree murder, IANAL, say you hit a guy, and he died, but your assault was not a significant factor in his death, then they would probably go for manslaughter or a lesser charge.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 12:57 AM on April 2, 2011

Assault with a mild detergent, tough rap.
posted by clavdivs at 2:06 AM on April 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

Assault with a mild detergent, tough rap.

That would impress the hell out of the other people in the cell block.
posted by marxchivist at 4:53 AM on April 2, 2011

"Assault with a mild detergent, tough rap."

Nobody fucks with mattress-tag-removal-guy. Nobody.
posted by Xoebe at 8:29 AM on April 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

G whatever should be conducted on an artificial island in the middle of the trash vortex, well away from normal people so we don't have to put up with this bullshit.
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on April 2, 2011


Spend $7.50 for a certified letter (I think thats how much it is). I bet you will hear a response within 1 month. I had my doubts when I first heard about it...but now its the gospel I spread: CERTIFIED. PRAISE IT!

Also, did you call the phone number above to follow up?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:28 PM on April 2, 2011

I'd like to commend the diminutive white female cop. She seemed pretty cool with the bubbles. Maybe Mr. Angry McGlowerson III could learn something from her demeanor.
posted by vrogy at 8:30 AM on April 3, 2011

She enabled him with her silence.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, ███ ██ ████ ████ ███ █████. ███ █████ █████ Bubbles ███ ███ sued █████ ████ ███. ████ ███ ██ lawsuit ████ ██. ████ ██ ████ ███. ██ █████ ████ ██ █ assault on free speech.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 3:37 PM on April 3, 2011

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