PPD Confirms: Menacing Messages to Occupy Philly From a Cop

Sidebotham sent this message to Occupy Philly Saturday night.

A PPD spokesperson confirmed that Mike Sidebotham, the name associated with a Facebook profile that has been posting a series of menacing messages to Occupy Philly’s Facebook page, has been a Philadelphia police officer since 2008.

Police also confirmed the posts have triggered an investigation into the 26-year-old patrolman.

The strange posts include a photo of Martin Luther King, two fingers pointing toward the lens, with the text “pew pew pew pew take that, racism,” a note about prison rape to Occupiers arrested during the Comcast protest, and a photo of the pepper-spraying cop with a message: “5 o’clock is coming” in advance of Mayor Nutter’s deadline for Occupiers to clear off Dilworth Plaza.

Police would not confirm if Sidebotham has at any time been assigned to Occupy detail, but added that Dilworth Plaza is outside his regular area.

The issue at hand is whether or not Sidebotham’s Facebook posts violate Directive 119, which established “policy regarding use of social media and social networking by sworn and unsworn members of the Philadelphia Police Department.”

From Directive 119:

“This policy sets forth expectations of police department employees with respect to their use of social media and social networking, and the direct effect such use has upon the reputation, perception and interests of the Philadelphia Police Department
and its employees.” And: “It is … essential that each member accept his or her role as an ambassador of the department.”

But also:

“Employees who are off-duty, and using privately-owned property to engage in the personal use of social media, do not represent the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police Department, or any official position maintained by either entity.  Under such conditions, employees represent only themselves and their personal interests.”

Sidebotham deleted his Facebook account Saturday evening, after PW first wrote about his history of trolling the page. He has not responded to requests for comment.

23 Responses to “ PPD Confirms: Menacing Messages to Occupy Philly From a Cop ”

  1. Jay says:

    He is not the only Philadelphia Police officer violating the departments directives. Philadelphia Police Officer John Sasse Jr’s Facebook page has an interesting post while on duty at the Occupy Philadelphia Protest site on Nov 21st.’

    John Sasse Jr.
    This occuppy philly detail sucks ass bro
    Like · · November 21 at 9:39pm near Philadelphia ·
    5 people like this.

    Amanda Barnett delete your FB already! You’re boring me….
    November 21 at 9:40pm · Like · 2

    John Sasse Jr. Hahahahaha!
    November 21 at 9:42pm · Like · 1

    Jenielle Marie waaaah bro!
    November 21 at 9:42pm · Like

    Kevin Long Tell those hippie fucks to stop being lazy and get a fucking job.
    November 21 at 9:43pm · Like · 1

    John Sasse Jr. Kev I know! These assholes are pissing me off. I hope we have a ice storm.
    November 21 at 9:48pm · Like · 1

    ******Richard Kimbal Pepper spray those lazy fucks!
    November 21 at 9:48pm · Like · 1******

    Chris Devicaris but they have their best and favorite po-po cop on duty and his is John Sasse Jr.
    November 21 at 9:50pm · Like · 1

    ******John Sasse Jr. Thanks Chris haha
    Rich, its happening soon…
    November 21 at 9:52pm · Like******

    Jeff Atherholt I have it 2mrw is it that bad
    November 21 at 10:05pm · Like

    John Sasse Jr. Its just boring as hell. They were supposed to be moved tonight but now there not moving em. Idk what the hell is going on and plus you don’t get out on time so ill probably be here till 1am.
    November 21 at 10:13pm · Like

    Xavier Perez Ot yeah.
    November 21 at 10:28pm · Like

    Kevin Flanagan F them dirt bags!!!!!
    November 21 at 11:20pm · Like · 1

    Mike Emery lol
    November 21 at 11:22pm · Like

    ******Daniel Bartle Those worthless assholes should occupy the end of a baton
    November 22 at 12:05am · Like · 3******

    ******John Sasse Jr. Soon Dan, soon…
    November 22 at 12:07am · Like*******

    ******Lew Gibson Just open fire no one will miss any of them
    November 22 at 1:09am · Like · 1******

    ******John Sasse Jr. Hahahahha
    November 22 at 1:18am · Like******

    Robert Sheridan John I will come down there with my power washer and move those hippies for you wait don’t you have fire fighter friends get the hose out on them
    November 22 at 7:15am · Like · 1

  2. stophelpingcoons says:

    stop helping all the blacks in the city have more kids.

    thats not nice saying u r going to ***ot unarmed people.

  3. Billiam says:

    Hey jay. You know there is now a chance that cop gets suspended or maybe lose job. And if it does happen I hope you live where that officer works and I hope his neat is where you frequent. Further more i hope you get robbed at gun point the first day he isn’t there and could have detured it from happening. But your liberal self would probably say aw the guy who robbed me needed the money more then me because he refuses to get a job and has to support 6 kids from 6 different woman and it’s the holiday season. I hope the guy who took my hardworking earned money and buys something nice for his kids. Instead of crack

  4. Billiam says:

    His beat**** not neat. Sorry

  5. Gregory says:

    Our tax dollars at work! PPD could go away entirely tomorrow and we would safer in our homes and streets. Not because no organization should be tasked with public safety, but because a group of nepotistic racist thugs like the PPD does not conjure images of public safety.

  6. Jay says:

    @Billiam I’m far from liberal, I believe that everybody has rights!! Everybody has a voice and can say what they want. When a person is acting on behalf of an organization and they fail to follow the rules, in this instance a member of the people whom we pay to “protect and serve” us then they deserve the consequences. Your a douche for wishing I get robbed at gunpoint, but in the instance that it does occur I would exercise my second amendment rights and put a bullet in the poor bastards heart, then file suit against his estate and take every dime from his six kids and their six mothers!

    @Gregory I trust the PPA more than the PPD, at least they will ticket you for violating the vehicle code, the PPD watches crimes happen and does nothing

  7. Billiam says:

    The response to the robbed at gun point thing. Well played. But I am far from douche. I wouldn’t put some one else job on the line by putting him on blast to the media. That sir is a douche. I’m pro PPD. i have never had a bad encounter with them unless I brought it on myself. Cops aren’t robots. Yea they are put on pedestal and they volunteer that. But they get annoyed just like the rest of the world. And it is probably the most frustrating job ever right under alaskin crab fisherman. They have breaking points to. And they have to do it with a smile on their face at all times? That’s easier said then done. All Sidebotham and the guy you probably just got fired were doing were venting their frustrations of their every day being turned upside down through joking.

  8. Billiam says:

    And if you say you did time across seas then I bet every dollar I have that you have made bad judgement humor to make light of a situation. So making judgments and putting then on blast to media makes you just as bad as them. If not worse. And if you didn’t laugh at at least one of the things on sidebothams posts. Then your lying

  9. rgl says:

    rest assured- you are actually all douches. if police officers use their free time to menace, threaten, and harass the people they are supposed to protect and serve, they are actually getting themselves in trouble, not the people who draw attention to what they did- i thought you conservatives loved ‘personal responsibility’ :)

  10. Dave says:

    I hardly want to come along and paint the picture that I dislike the PPD (or PPA, for that matter) – I don’t, and I’m generally happy to see them hanging around as I walk around the city.

    As far as I see it… the guy who posted the seemingly threatening images went way further than the guy shown in the comments here. As far as I can tell, that guy only vaguely responded to what other people said to him, on his personal page. I don’t see why he should be targeted, unless it’s just to show how easily someone can violate rules on social networking.

    The one being investigated, however, didn’t do it on his page – he sent the messages directly to the Occupy group with a strong implication they would soon be ‘attacked’. Considering his images showed a police officer pepper spraying non-violent protesters and he himself was one of these officers, the line between conveying his personal opinion and that of the PPD is very blurred…

    I’m not necessarily saying he should lose his job for it – in fact, I think he probably shouldn’t, he’s on the younger side and it was Facebook, where many say things they may not in person, but there should be some sort of consequence for that one.

  11. Gus says:

    @Gregory, Your a dumbass. if there were no PPD we wouldnt be safer. because Americans dont no how to live peacefully. Its always a conflict with each other.

  12. Batman says:

    I’m on this mike sidebothams side. I want the honor of him taking my side kick robins place. Mike is a stand up guy and I have had the pleasure of knowing him for years. MIKE SIDE BOTHAM FOR MAYOR. if that happens I will gladly leave Gotham CITY to come fight injustice in Philadelphia.

  13. Philamont says:

    The issue is judgement. How dumb and immature do you have to be to think, as a cop, posting this stuff is a good idea? Why would you jeopardize your job, as he has done with those posts? If his judgement is that bad when he’s not under pressure, I hate to think of how he would respond when things get tough.

  14. Sassy says:

    Jeopardize his job? He did not violate of of the Police rules. Read the rule, he never stated in any post that he was an officer or that they were the views of the department. Apparently, this kid has been to war, so i doubt this is any kind of pressure on him. From what i hear people have been nothing but supportive of him. He even has a support page on facebook. So i don think he is loosing any sleep over it.

  15. B. Baumer says:

    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.

  16. B. Baumer says:

    Thanks to all the people supporting him and do not even know him. We appreciate it.

  17. Tricia says:

    He’s a troll exposed. He deleted his whole Facebook account. He is a policeman and said “5 o’clock is coming” with a picture of Sgt. Pepper Spray! It was a direct threat to a peaceful assembly. Not only is it unprofessional, it show’s a lack of respect for the common citizen he swore to protect. The man is a disgrace to his badge and should be severely disciplined as used as example in Temple Ethics Classes forever.

  18. Robb Stark says:

    For the people who are against this guy should stop running their mouth because it is because of him you are even on her bitchin’ about things that don’t concern you. Get a sense of humor and grow up. You people make me want to puke. Next time this guy goes overseas to fight, he definitly won’t be doing it for you.

  19. tina says:

    @TRICIA
    YOU are the troll for judging someone you don’t even know. he did not threaten, he entertained himself by making a joke. He never said HE was going to harm the protesters. He never said HE WANTS to harm them. Yes, maybe he shouldn’t have made it public for everyone to see. But i am only saying that because of people like you, who are so judgemental. Get off your high horse and stop being so stubborn. Just because you don’t agree with his sense of humor does not give you the right to bash on someone you DON’T EVEN KNOW.

    B.Baumer (who is also a police officer) wrote in a different post about the same topic..
    “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.”

    obviously you don’t know many cops, but i do and i understand where he’s coming from. Mike was also a marine, cops/marines/navy seals etc. have been through and seen stuff we would never want to imagine. Its not easy for them to cope without a different sense of humor than others. We should be thankful he fought for us.

  20. Sassy says:

    Tricia, his post also included a statement from him saying he did not condone what the officer did, he thought the caption was funny. So get your facts straight before you and the rest of you occupiers hating on this kid. Get a grip. I read the directive and his blogs and never once did he threaten or represent himself as a spokesman for the PPD. I believe someone stated he was a cop, he never once said he was. Free MIKE!!!!!

  21. Peter Smith Jr says:

    @Sassy according to the fb profiles, works at Philadelphia Police Department, that alone makes them a spokesperson representing the PPD, and depending when Officer Sidebotham enlisted in the USMC, the DoD could actually charge him. Every enlistment contract lasts 8 years even if you only enlisted for four. It’s called Individual Inactive Reserve Status “IRR”. The DoD has actually stated that occupy protesters protesting in uniform who were in IRR status could face charges. While I have great respect for the Police and Military, rules are rules. I am active duty military, the Oath of Enlistment is “I (name) do somomley swear to support and defend the Constitution against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC….”.

    While I disagree with the manner of the Occupy Protest, they have a First Amendment right to assemble and petition for a grievence against the government. That’s why the protests over civil rights and the Vietmiam war lasted as long as they did. The Police all over the country have a sworn duty to protect the peace, as long as the protesters are not breaking the law then he police are sworn to protect them as well. City park have hours and they must be enforced, I’m not arguing that. At UC Davis; however, the students pay tuition to attend and reside t the University, so technically thy have every right to Occupy the Campus as it is their domicile.

    The thing hat Mayor NE Police Commissioners/Chiefs have to realize is everytime you do something to the Occupy crowds thy grow, with cities being budget straped and officers getting overtime to do protection/control details. If their movement lasts I’d guess two more months they will win because they will bankrupt cities and then the cities could not afford to pay their Police Officers. Mayors need to peaceably talk and work with the protesters, and the protesters have to work with the cities for everyone to succeed.

  22. Sassy says:

    charged with what? posting funny pictures?

  23. My dentist recommended this toothpaste several years ago, but since then, stores have stopped carrying it. They still have whitening and peroxide formulas, but those weaken teeth [according to my dentist].

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