Rebel clowns say fake shooting aimed at Seattle cops was 'in jest'

WARNING: Video includes offensive language.

A protester dressed as a clown who was filmed pretending to shoot Seattle police with an umbrella was doing so "in jest," according to another member of CIRCA, the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army.

"Furst Lewtenant Gonzo," who is not the man in a YouTube video posted last week, said the group took part in the "Bring the Fight to the Banks" rally on July 20 to act as a "buffer" between police and activists.

In video captured of the demonstration, a member of CIRCA, who goes by the name "General Malaise," levels an umbrella at police officers and pretends to shoot them, as if holding a rifle.

"This is absolutely unbelievable. I don't know that I've ever instantly detested somebody the way I do this guy in this video," Dori Monson of the Dori Monson Show said after seeing the video.

He called it nothing short of "despicable."

Monson said police showed exceptional restraint as the protester got in the face of several officers, shouted obscenities and made racial taunts, repeatedly calling them "fascist pigs."

"You don't know if somebody who looks and acts this crazy if their next act is going to be to try to run you through with the tip of the umbrella," Monson said. "The fact that not every media outlet in the city is heralding the restraint of these Seattle Police Officers, these guys are unbelievable."

A spokesperson for the Seattle Police Department who watched the video said the clown was "not breaking any laws." But, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said it appeared he was trying to provoke a police response.

"Not at all," Furst Lewtenant Gonzo told 97.3 KIRO-FM. "It was more of a joking parody of police using force, really."

The "Lewtenant" said it was "obviously an umbrella" and not a gun.

Still, the timing of the incident may have been perceived as insensitive by some. It occurred the day after a deadly shooting rampage inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 people dead.

Furst Lewtenant Gonzo said the clowns were unaware that the shooting had occurred as they went to bed early on Thursday to prepare for the demonstration.

"Rebel clowning is a very strenuous job," he said. "We had the demonstration that morning and so, as you can imagine, we were more busy putting our clown paint on instead of turning on the news and finding out what was going on."

Still, he said they do not regret their actions and would have acted the same if they had known about the shooting.


Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
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