10.21.2010 07:54 AM

SFH drummer vs. Officer Bubbles


And David Shiller – a.k.a., Davey Snot, the Thriller Shiller – wins.

Check it out:

Toronto lawyer David Shiller, who defends the bubble-blower in the original video, has offered to represent those facing legal action free of charge.

“His case in a very, very real sense threatens peoples’ right to comment on the police conduct at the G20, and that is undeniably a very important and controversial public issue,” Shiller said.

Shiller stumbled upon the bubbles incident while on a stroll through his Parkdale neighbourhood, and said what was captured in the video is only a small part of a greater display of force he describes as “frightening.”

“For a billion dollars, I could’ve got someone with a better attitude,” he tells Const. Josephs in the video, referencing the highly-criticized price tag of the G8 and G20 summits.

Our punk rock brother is all grown up!  He’s using big words and everything!

The confrontation between Davey and Officer Bubbles, wherein he does us proud, is here.   That’s him at about the 1:20 mark.


  1. bc says:

    “His case in a very, very real sense threatens peoples’ right to comment on the police conduct at the G20, and that is undeniably a very important and controversial public issue,” Shiller said.

    You’d think someone as smart (likely) as Shiller would get the fundamental difference between what is happening and what he is “representing”. The issue isn’t surrounding comments on the officers conduct, it’s the anonymous, slanderous, hate filled messages that are the problem.

    Considering your defense of Warman over the years, I’d expect you to be siding with the officer on this matter, agreeing that bashing people on public forums with the expectation of anonymity isn’t reasonable.

    “Shill-er” is right.

    • Warren says:

      I DON’T think cowards should be able to defame people without using their real names.

      I also don’t agree that a public official should be able to (a) arrest someone for blowing bubbles and (b) sue for when he’s called to account for doing so.

      You speechies slay me.

      • bc says:

        I’m glad to hear your position hasn’t changed then.

        We’ll have to simply disagree on the bubble issue. I think it’s over the top to threaten an assult arrest for blowing bubbles, but I agree with him asking her to stop. It was a clear sign of disrespect to blow bubbles in the officers face when they were talking.

        If anything, the officer is guilty for being tactless.

        BUT – that still doesn’t give people the right to anonymously abuse him over the internet.

        • Namesake says:

          well, if displaying disrepect was sufficient to arrest someone, you’d be in jail by now now, too, dumbass (and, whoops, me).

          • bc says:

            I didn’t know Warren was a police officer on the side. I also wasn’t being disrespectful.

            Whether or not you like it, police officers are in positions of authority. So don’t blow bubbles in their face while on the job.

          • Namesake says:

            um, ?Shill-er? disrespects his friend & colleague (& lawyers in general), and even tho’ it’s unwise, given how some of them seem to think this, too, you’re simply wrong: law enforcement officers are not ipso facto entitled to arrest people who ‘diss’ them. As with anyone else, we can stick out our tongues at them, chant “Pig!” etc. — we just can’t threaten or assault them, which, sorry, “blowing bubbles at” hardly qualifies as.

  2. Catherine says:

    Thank goodness for the David Shillers of the world.

    I had never seen this ‘confrontation’ before. I assumed that the ‘protester’ confronted authority.

    I was mistaken.

  3. WJM says:

    I don’t see anything of interest at the 2:20 mark.

  4. Dave says:

    I think you mean the 1:40 mark?

    I think the most telling part of this video is at around 0:21-0:23 – where the female officer looks at officer bubs with a sort of smiling incredulity. Seems like she’s thinking “Are you really going there?”

  5. Tyler says:

    I DON?T think cowards should be able to defame people without using their real names.

    I also don?t agree that a public official should be able to (a) arrest someone for blowing bubbles and (b) sue for when he?s called to account for doing so.

    You speechies slay me.

    In fairness to Officer Bubbles, not all of the people who he’s suing are calling him to account for blowing bubbles. There are allegedly comments, for example, calling him a steroid using Nazi, which strikes me as being different than someone saying he’s an asshole.

    I’m not entirely sure how you square your position though, unless what you’re saying is that people should be able to say whatever they want about a public official in the circumstances of Officer Bubbles, they just shouldn’t be able to do so anonymously. That seems sort of troubling to me too, as there’s a long history of anonymous political speech, which, as distasteful as some of it is, the YouTube comments seem to me to be. Do you think that these people should all have their real names revealed?

    • Warren says:


      Besides, you subscribe to a false construct.

      There is no anonymity on the Internet. With the right resources, and time, you can expose any nameless defamer.

      If you have something to say, put your name on it. That’s what I do.

      • Andrew says:

        The most common means of exposing a nameless defamer, harasser is a “Anonymous Joe” suit, where the Internet Provider is named and they relinquish all information, i.e. IP addresses, etc.

  6. AmandaM says:

    First of all, I consider the police to be public officials like any other. If you’re paid by taxpayer dollars, you have every reason to expect that your job performance will be held up to public scrutiny – see Hospital CEOs right now who are being defamed all over the internet in comments, deputy ministers and other bureaucrats who are named in newspapers and slagged in comments sections, and University professors who may publish something controversial with taxpayer-funded research and we all go nuts and say what a jackass they are for doing the research in the first place.

    2. Should you blow bubbles in a police officer’s face at any point when he has a uniform on? Absolutely not. Rule of Law, etc.

    3. That officer cannot expect to not be held up to scrutiny for his power-trippy behaviour (ooooohhhh, is that defamation?). He was trained to not react to that kind of stuff, and he needed to let it go, but couldn’t, and here we are.

    4. Comments on the internet: yeah, you can find out who anyone is if you have the knowledge, or can hire someone to do it for you. Nothing is every really anonymous (see “Primary Colors”, by Anonymous) so let’s not pretend it is.

    By the by, this whole case is insane from start to finish. What a waste. And one way or another, the judge is going to get defamed for the decision. Ironical.

  7. Tyler says:

    I generally agree with your statement that if you’ve got something to say, put your name to it. It tends to be more credible that way. With that said, it seems to me that it should be the choice of the speaker – if they’re willing to take the credibility hit, why shouldn’t they be able to voice anonymous criticisms? Let YouTube defend the comments if they want to defend them. I find the idea that agents of the state can unmask their critics with lawsuits of questionable merit to be more than a little troubling.

    As for internet anonymity being a false construct, that’s not entirely true. In this case, for example, they would need to get the IP from YouTube. Then they need to get whoever the ISP is to tell them who the IP belongs too. Without a court order, they’re reliant on the goodwill of YouTube and the ISP to do so (and, in many cases, they can’t due to privacy law). Someone emailing you a death threat or leaving a stupid comment on your website is a bit of a different thing.

    In this case, without the coercive power of the state assisting in forcing the disclosure of names of people who think he’s an asshole, Officer Josephs wouldn’t be able to learn the identities of the co-conspirators of Pussy McFats. I’d be more sympathetic to him doing so if the allegations in the impugned comments were more substantial. As it stands, it looks to me like a guy who doesn’t seem to accept that state power should have limits. Jail for blowing bubbles. Sued for calling him an asshole. Absurd.

  8. JStanton says:

    Mr. Josephs, I suspect, will be seeking a new career shortly. As the poster boy for a police department that is evidently still operating based on methods already discredited and rejected by police departments in major cities across developed, western democracies, he is a very public reminder that, not only are Toronto and Ontario stuck in a 1970’s view of the appropriate role of government and their use of their security apparatus, but also that Canadian attitudes as whole, are antediluvian with respect to the obligation of citizens to challenge government when civil rights are eroded. This is why the attitude that “only troublemakers were on the street” is so pervasive, rather than one that views it a citizen’s duty to protect their community, the Charter, and democratic institutions as a whole.

    Europeans and Americans would have reacted with far more vigor to the actions of police and government in comparable circumstances. The behavior of protesters would have mirrored that of the police, leading to a high police casualty rate. Which is why well-trained police in western democracies opposite of Toronto police practices.

    On a more personal note, Mr. Josephs actions were those of a bully and a punk. His behavior showed immaturity, poor judgment and a lack of professional understanding of his accountability to the Charter. It begs the question of how thoroughly the Toronto police force screens its applicants, and of the fitness of the Toronto police leadership, in terms of what is required to police Canada’s major metropolis.

  9. allegra fortissima says:

    “The history of the world is the world’s court of justice.” ~ Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

    Are the two related?

  10. Andrew says:

    Here is one thing for everyone on their civil liberties high horse.

    I worked in a factory and we used a caustic cleaning agent that was a strong alkali solution. It looked exactly like soap solution and you could blow “soap” bubbles with the solution. Problem being, these bubbles could cause blindness if they made contact with your cornea. It is not too far fetched and anything is possible on the streets (during a protest).

    • Dennis says:

      Bubbles may have been dangerous? Yes.

      Officer Bubbles was thinking they may have been dangerous? No.

      • Andrew says:

        I don’t know…the woman looked a little freaky to me…

        Besides, I wouldn’t let anyone blow bubbles in my face. You don’t know were that person’s mouth has been. Let alone the stinging sensation of soap in your eye.

    • smelter rat says:

      Oh please.

      • Jon Pertwee says:

        I dunno. Andrew looks a litle freaky to me… Or at the least extremely paranoid. Seeing as he views civil liberties as a high horse you have to wonder what he believes in. Maybe a cold prison bed and a hard truncheon are his thing.

        • Andrew says:

          I am sound freaky, but can’t look freaky because we’ve never met.

          Actually my grandparents experienced a cold prison bed and a hard truncheon under Lenin and the Bolsheviks, I am hardly an advocate for something like that.

          PS. I will gladly blow bubbles in your face if you wish.

  11. Doug says:

    In general terms you’re right, the average Joe has a lot less anonymity than he thinks when writing his YouTube comments, but one surely can achieve effective anonymity on the Internet. For example, by using tor. http://www.torproject.org/

  12. Iris Mclean says:

    Betcha Bubbles is working a desk job these days.

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