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
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
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,
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.