A Seattle vigilante's conflict with the police raises some interesting questions about real-life superheroes.
The state of Washington allows for two parties to fight in the streets so long as there is mutual consent. That simple law has allowed people like Phoenix Jones (who we've talked about in the past) to take up the mantle of costumed heroes. Phoenix is the best-known of his band of crusaders and, as a result, tends to act as their mouthpiece.
Recently, an independent report was released recommending that attempts be made to curtail Phoenix Jones and other superheroes from fighting crime. Specifically, the report came as a result of attacks during last year's May Day in Seattle. On that day, some of the vigilantes were, allegedly, guilty themselves of crime, including unlawful assault.
Phoenix Jones was, in his own words, "furious." He released this video fighting back.
Jones invited SPD to watch the live streams of his patrols to verify that he does not break the law. He also denied allegations that any other heroes were guilty during last year's May Day and made it clear he intended to protect citizens as necessary for this year's upcoming May Day. On April 26, the Seattle Police Department clarified, and Jones responded:
@seattlepd THANK YOU AND ON BEHALF OF THE RAIN CITY SUPERHERO MOVEMENT WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU TO KEEP THE CITY SAFE.— Phoenix Jones (@ThePhoenixJones) April 27, 2013
So it looks like Phoenix Jones took the fight to the cops and won this round, but this turn of events raises more questions than it answers. Was this merely a temporary situation, or, long term, will Washington government officials work to change the law and inhibit superheroes from taking to the streets? And, more importantly, should they?
What do you think? Can superheroes benefit the real world?
(via Bleeding Cool)