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Officer Launches $1.2M Defamation Suit Against YouTube

Officer Launches $1.2M Defamation Suit Against YouTube

YouTube Video Capture

Winnipeg Free Press via YellowBrix

October 18, 2010

TORONTO — A Toronto police officer nicknamed “Officer Bubbles” on YouTube over an incident during the G20 summit has launched a $1.2-million defamation suit against the website.

Const. Adam Josephs received the nickname after an online video surfaced of him telling a protester she would be arrested if any of her bubbles touched police officers.

Josephs is not suing over the video. The Globe and Mail reports he is suing over cartoons posted later that he alleges depict a police officer resembling the constable abusing police power.

In some cartoons, the character arrests Santa Claus and U.S. President Barack Obama and punches a news photographer.

Josephs alleges in a statement of claim the cartoons have subjected him to ridicule, and have resulted in threats against himself and his family.

“The reason we brought the lawsuit is that people have the right to protect themselves against this kind of harassment,” his lawyer James Zibarras told the Globe and Mail in a story published on its website.

The statement of claim says Josephs wants YouTube to reveal the identity of the person behind the account “ThePMOCanada” where the cartoons were originally posted.

His lawyer said the lawsuit was in its preliminary stages and he was still in discussions with YouTube to resolve it.

The allegations have not been proven in court and it’s not believed a statement of defence has been filed.

As of Friday evening, the account that posted the cartoons had been shut down and most of the videos vanished from the site.

The officer became a symbol for protesters at later demonstrations — in one case, demonstrators blew bubbles in front of Queen’s Park to protest the mass arrests at the G20.

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