Are Menacing Posts on Occupy Philly’s Facebook Page from a Philly Cop?

This message was posted and deleted Saturday night. 5:00pm Sunday is the deadline for Occupy protesters to clear off Dilworth Plaza.

This message was posted and deleted Saturday night. 5:00pm Sunday is the deadline for Occupy protesters to clear off Dilworth Plaza.

Someone going by the name of Mike Sidebotham—whose profile indicates he is a Philadelphia police officer—posted a menacing message to the Occupy Philadelphia facebook page Saturday evening.

He posted the notorious photo of Lt. John Pike, the University of California-Davis police officer filmed casually and cavalierly hosing protesters with pepper spray.

The photo was captioned, “Don’t mind me / Just watering my hippies.”

The post included a personal message: “5 o clock is coming.”

5 p.m. is the deadline Mayor Nutter has given Occupy Philly activists to clear their bodies and belongings out of Dilworth Plaza.

“Do you really feel like it’s a smart idea, as a Philadelphia police officer, to post things like this on publicly accessible Facebook pages?” asked Brooklyn Billmaier, in direct response to Sidebotham’s post.

“This just broke my heart to see this,” chimed in someone going by the handle Occupy a Shower. “Tasers get better reactions!!!”

A few minutes later Sidebotham wrote, “There [sic] just hating on my freedom of speech.”

Sidebotham, whose profile indicates that he graduated Archbishop Ryan High School in 2003, defended himself even further: “Its a picture what am I inciting? Whats it matter what my profession is? Did I do it? No. No where did I promote what happened, I just find the caption funny. People are trying to say because of my profession I cant disagree with what you guys are doing? I never laid a hand on a single one of you guys have i? Nope, so I am exercising my freedom of speech. I think I have earned the right to do so.”

A few minutes later the post disappeared.

Sidebotham didn’t bother, however, to delete his many previous to the Occupy Philadelphia facebook page. At least 10 such posts exist dating back to October.

It was November 2, though—the day nine Occupy Philly protesters were arrested demonstrating in front of the Comcast building—that seemed to launch Sidebotham into a trolling tailspin that includes comments suggestive of prison rape for the arrestees:

November 2, 4:22pm: “Free Nelson Mandela!”

4:32pm: A yearbook photo of a chubby white boy that says, “Man, those were some good tacos,” with the quote attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

4:53pm: “Im about to go make some sloppy Joes anyone want some?”

9:13pm: A photo of a black man in an orange jumpsuit. He is scowling. Text on the photo reads: “The soap / pick it up.” Beneath the photo, a personal note: “for those who got arrested at comcasat, enjoy your stay”

Someone asked what was the reason for the photo.

“it makes me laugh,” responded Sidebotham.

Can this post to Occupy Philly's Facebook page really be from a cop?

Can this post to Occupy Philly's Facebook page really be from a cop?

10:04pm: A photo of what appears to be a Middle Eastern man in the desert. Militant-looking police stand behind  him, donning clear shields. The photo, which includes the text “Everyday I’m shufflin’” was posted with a personal note: “occupy iraq?”

10:12pm: Photo of a line of uniformed cops spraying a man holding up a camera in the face with pepper spray or mace. The man is attempting to shield his eyes from the spray. Text on photo: “Go be fat somewhere else.”

11:33pm: A photo of Batman and a note that says “Batman is part of the 1%.”

November 3, 12:06am: A photo of Martin Luther King with two fingers pointing toward the lens. Text on the photo: “pew pew pew pew take that, racism”

November 3, 4:37pm: Photo of an obese man holding a can of Bud Light and a plastic gun. Text reads: “Shitter’s full”

November 5, 1:22pm: A photo of Gaddafi with text: “R.I.P. Carlos Santana 1947 – 2011.”

Sidebotham’s latest post to the Occupy Philly wall links to an insurance commercial.

So far, it is unclear if these posts are really from Sidebotham and if he is a Philadelphia police officer. A request for confirmation of employment is pending with the Philadelphia police department.

If this person is indeed an officer, he is in clear violation of the Philadelphia Police Department’s directive regarding use of social media.

From a memo in May: “At all times, [police should] conduct themselves as representatives of the department and, accordingly, adhere to all department policies and standards of conduct, and observe conventionally accepted protocols and proper decorum.”

Sidebotham, or the person manning the Facebook account, did not return PW’s requests for comment.

82 Responses to “ Are Menacing Posts on Occupy Philly’s Facebook Page from a Philly Cop? ”

  1. Sassy says:

    I never said the actions during war are justified, if they do something wrong overseas they will have to be dealt with. the reason for the war is not up to the soldier. September 11th 2001, and everyone who signed up after that is without a doubt a true hero, Our country was attacked and these men and women took a stand.

  2. Alfred says:

    @RYAN its daunting to arue with a man who hates his country. and @WOW yes i do beleive that if you dont do as the Authorities say you should get roughed up. and of course they arent telling you the whole story behind why they were roughed up so much. They would fight back to and would be assholes. So therefore the police would have to use more force to protect themselves. I would rather see a Filthy Hippie get killed than a Cop.

  3. B. Baumer says:

    B. Baumer
    1 min ago
    I actually know the guy personally and work as a cop with him every day. Same district, same schedule and we are also friends out side of work. He has never in any way shape or form been close to getting into trouble at work and always acts with class and dignity. Never has bIas opinion towards anything while on domestic calls or any type of call. He is a hard worker and a good damn cop who has locked up countless people for guns, drugs, robberies, rapes, etc. Even out of work he carries himself well and is always respectful towards people. He is also a very funny guy with a sense of humor. I’ve never seen him act unprofessional. And honestly I feel safe working the crime ridden streets that we are assigned to knowing he’s around. For every one who is judging. Find something better to do. Stop checking online every 5 seconds on your face books and phila. Weekly site. Go get some fresh air. Sun light will do ya’s good. Leave the key board alone. and enjoy life. Instead of putting some one elses down. Thanks to all the people supporting him AND DON’T EVEN KNOW HIM. Your good people.

  4. chapman says:

    so basically your all a buch of sissys that cant take a joke over 300 homicides in the city this year and 700 gun related crimes and everyones pissy cause a cop posted some pictures ,,, now how bout the cops and marines who support occupy and have publicly said so should they to be met with the same shit storm? if your offended by a picture of someone you dont even know getting pepper sprayed than your part of this huge pussification of america it honestly is appauling that so many people care so much about something that dosent matter im not a big fan of cops but its a tough job that not everyone can do dealing with the worst of the worst every day and now it seems like everyones waitin for you to slip up .. bottom line get a life loosers

  5. B. Baumer says:

    Thanks bud

  6. Rag says:

    Hey check out this 84 year old woman who the cops pepper-sprayed! She really got what she deserved, right? U S A ! U S A! U S A !

  7. Rag says:

    Can you imagine the threat this 84 year old woman posed to our brave men in blue?? I wonder how many hulking, brave young men it took to subdue her??

  8. Bachmann 2012 says:

    Remember, we learned from @Alfred that everyone the cops have injured at the protests “got what they deserved” for standing up to “authority”. It takes a real man to throw a disabled person out of their wheel chair and repeatedly kick them while they’re down.

    And furthermore, this type of thing is rife with HUMOR! It’s so FUNNY when groups of armed, grown men who are paid to protect us decide to indiscriminately lash out at a nonviolent public!

  9. Steve M. says:

    I’m pretty sure all of the “occupiers” were given more then enough time to protest. Eventually it does have to end. When they are asked nicely to leave numerous times and they refuse and then are given the choice to move or be moved. You can leave like some people did. If you stay Then expect to get hit by the train if YOU decided to stay on the train track. It’s devastating the old woman was pepper sprayed. But the guy in the wheel chair. He struggled. Every one is leaving that part out and are making him a victim……and if you want to struggle like a guy that isnt handicapped then the police will treat him like he isn’t handicapped. All those people were warned. If they say Fuck you im staying then it’s out of the polices hands. Your sticking up for these assholes. Why not go join them. Get a life

  10. WOW says:


    ::Phew!:: Now that a neutral, independent source has come in to confirm Sidebotham’s character… His cop buddies at work, right? Who better to clear this up?? Well I’m glad that’s settled!

  11. BACHMANN 2012 says:

    @STEVE M.
    “If you stay Then expect to get hit by the train if YOU decided to stay on the train track.”

    I know it might seem convenient to compare thinking, rational human-beings who are employed by the state to protect innocent people with non-sentient steel freight trains…..perhaps because their IQ levels are so close? :-P

    ” When they are asked nicely to leave numerous times and they refuse and then are given the choice to move or be moved.”

    I’m sorry but this just doesn’t describe what’s going on down there.

  12. Steve M. says:

    All of you are coming down on this mike guy. That’s cool you can have your opinion. But I’m sure your all perfect. I looked at the pictures and read what he said. He never mentioned the old lady. Or handicap fellow. I’m sure if he was as evil as you are trying to make him out to be he would have jumped all over those pics. But the hippies he posted were young at a school. And they were warned!!!!!! You can see it in the damn video!!!!! They chose to stay so fuck them. As of the old lady… I said. He didn’t touch that. All of you people are people who enjoy to argue over a computer and most likely do not have much of a life. P.s that batman thing on these comment sites are hilarious

  13. Ryan says:

    Alfred… I love my country more than you will ever know (and I want to point out that you did not rebut the irrational and brainwashed bit).

    You are aware that love of country does not equate to love of government… right? Are you aware that America is an idea… not a system of government? Right? Finally, I am thoroughly impressed with your adherence to the Nazi and Fascist mantra of respect authority. Just because one puts on a little uniform and adorns a badge I should respect that authority? By what right?

    Read something that has words as a focus instead of pictures… you freaking troglodyte.

  14. RAG says:

    The references to the disabled guy, the senior citizens, etc were directed at the people celebrating *all recent police activity*, insisting that *nothing* was out of line, and that anyone who was injured by police “got what they deserved” (yes, there are people posting here who are saying exactly that; something tells me the two cops we’ve heard from would more or less agree with that sentiment as well).

    “All of you people are people who enjoy to argue over a computer and most likely do not have much of a life.”

    Well put Steven!

    Has anyone noticed that the Mike supporters (including Mike himself, and his cop friend) are consistently unable to put sentences together properly, and are repeatedly choosing the wrong “your” and “you’re”, among other grade-school grammar/spelling errors? ;-D

  15. B.Baumer says:

    Well I’m glad I went against my own post and checked this site right before I went to sleep. I’m pretty sure everything I wrote was legit well said except that last “your” part. Way to come at my intelligence for one grammatical error. You do not know me at all guy. And insulting my intelligence for trying say this guy is deep down a great guy. Most cops have a twisted sense of humor. They have to have one in order to make light of the messed up stuff we see and go through everyday. For you to judge me out of the blue like that shows what kind of person you are. I’m not going to trash you for being you. I do however appreciate the stab at me though. “YOU’RE” the man.

  16. Sassy says:

    Rag, you continually use run on sentences. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

  17. B.Baumer says:

    Sassy I don’t know you……but I like “YOUR” moves. I appreciate it.

  18. Alfred says:

    I like what @B.Baumer said about how he needs this sense of humor to help himself see light at the end of the tunnel after all the bad things he see’s everyday on the streets. Everybody needs something to help themselves stay calm, instead of being a cop who beats up on the innocent.

  19. RAG says:

    Yes we’re typing informally; run-on sentences and sentence fragments make up the majority of exchanges anywhere online (just read this thread!).

    I was simply noting a trend among the Mike supporters to not subconsciously correct those usage errors, which seem glaring to me.. because I find it amusing. You guys find those “Bat Man” jokes amusing. Different strokes for different folks :D

    (Baumer was actually among the more eloquent writers; I didn’t intend to single him out in that way…there are certainly more egregious examples…)

  20. RAG says:

    Thanks man I haven’t heard this in years

  21. chapman says:

    bunch of hippie pussys bitchin about horseshit..get a life,job,clue,sence of reality,some deodorent,new hobby , girlfriend/boyfriend,prozak . take you pick but stop bein sissys he can post whateve he wants your all just mad hes a cop .. if you take away his right to free speach you take away everyones you liberal little sissy girls go tell mommy he called you a “name”

  22. Sassy says:

    Chapman, for them to tell their mom allthey would have to do is yell upstairs cause they live in their parents basement. I agree with you 150%

  23. Alfred says:

    Who cares about how ppl are writing on here. Everyone types differently online. Its computer slang and who gives a shit about run-ons and all that jazz.

  24. “Sidebotham” is the new term for the often frothy mixture of fecal waste and gin found after my encounters with high school students.

  25. Sassy says:

    I can’t spell fer shit, but I know how to werk a mean pole.

  26. Culiccidae says:

    No one who makes racist jokes, or jokes about abusing protesters or raping prisoners should be allowed to have any kind of authority over the public. This man needs to be fired as well as any other cop defending this behavior. Freedom of speech does not cover blatantly abusive speech. Take some responsibility.

  27. fu dave says:

    Yeah no one talks about the cops that take qoutas out on the public which is blatantly EXTORTIOn so some rich jew supporter can live in a millions dollar home while everyone else starves.

    Get rid of hollywood greed.

    Whoever this guy is, is a disgrace, I bet he watches all the idiot hollywood shows on tv too.
    How long does everyone think this nonsense will last. just like the french revolution.
    Yours is coming azzhole.

  28. Sidebotham says:

    Hey guys. My brother just did what everyone who has a job and pays taxes was thinking. Its great to live on this court and be able to speak our minds!

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  31. David Smith says:

    Socialists are so scared of freedom…

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