Feathers have officially been ruffled following the arrest of FriendlyJordies producer, Kristo Langker, for allegedly stalking NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
As we reported yesterday, FriendlyJordies creator Jordan Shanks took to YouTube on Tuesday to announce that Kristo had been arrested by the NSW Police Fixated Person’s Investigation Unit – a unit established in 2017 that’s meant to target lone extremists.
Kristo was charged with two offences of “stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm”.
Shanks explained in yesterday’s bombshell video, “For legal reasons I have to keep this video as straight-laced as I possibly can. My name is Jordan Shanks and I’m being sued by John Barilaro, the Deputy Premier of New South Wales.”
“Up until recently I’ve treated this legal problem with the levity it deserves, but in all honesty, every move I’ve made no matter how ridiculous it appeared, has been both legal and considered. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Deputy Premier, who has impulsively, maliciously escalated the situation at every turn, and in doing so, out clowned the clown.”
“I understood that the usual procedure for silence and dissent in a Western democracy is to outspend your opponent, legally or electorally. What I did not realise is that defence is quite literally paper thin. Australia does have its own secret police, and they get sent in very quickly, particularly when the skin is as thin as said paper.”
“On the 4th of June plain-clothed armed officers stormed into my employee’s home, violently assaulted his family, nearly killed his dog, pinned him to the ground, handcuffed him and dragged him into an unmarked police car.”
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Langker’s lawyers described the arrest as “highly alarming” and criticised the “shocking” use of the Fixated Persons Unit.
Following the shocking footage going viral on social media, a slew of notable figures have since come out in defence of Shanks, slamming Barilaro’s actions and accusing him of lying to police.
Among those throwing support behind Shanks include NSW State MP Helen Dalton, who has called on the state’s police watchdog to investigate the arrest.
“Women in NSW who have suffered domestic violence, stalking and intimidation and will tell you how difficult it is to get their perpetrator charged and arrested,” Dalton said.
NSW State MP Helen Dalton has called on the state’s police watchdog to investigate the arrest of @friendlyjordies producer Kristo Langker.
— Xenophon Davis (@xenophondavis) June 14, 2021
“As far as I can see, the offence relates to Kristo twice approaching Mr Barilaro in a public arena.
“There are many journalists across Australia who’ll be in trouble if this is grounds for arrest. The implications for free speech and civil liberties are extremely disturbing.”
“A special unit established to tackle extremists should not be arresting a YouTube comedian.”
She added: “I’ve met Kristo several times, he’s one of the least intimidating people you could meet.
“Having seen video footage of the arrest and alleged incidents leading to the arrest, I believe this whole saga must be investigated by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.”
Among others who have called out Barilaro and NSW police over the arrest include The Chaser, comedian Isaac Butterfield, and Australian journalist John Pilger.
Australia's one and only fearless political satirist is Jordan Shanks, whose YouTube show brilliantly upsets a compliant society's low grade politicians. An anti terror goon squad was sent in to arrest his producer for "stalking". Really? Watch this … https://t.co/O53eLXK2bX
— John Pilger (@johnpilger) June 14, 2021
The Twitterverse was also full of heated criticism over the arrest, with one user writing: “Protect and serve … the politicians … not the public or journalists doing their job.”
Another wrote in defence of Shanks: “People might not like the way Friendlyjordies does journalism, but the principle of being able to question those in power for their political decisions is an important one in a democracy. I hope to see all journalists standing up for the right to do that without being arrested.”
Aussies: “Russia is so oppressed, I can’t believe they let Navalny go to jail.”
Also Aussies: totally cool with senior politicians like @JohnBarilaroMP suing @friendlyjordies and lying to the police in order to get his staff arrested by an undercover counter terrorism unit. 🤷🏼♂️
— Ben Roache (@benroachie) June 14, 2021
People might not like the way Friendlyjordies does journalism, but the principle of being able to question those in power for their political decisions is an important one in a democracy. I hope to see all journalists standing up for the right to do that without being arrested. https://t.co/Z87cyc1J0M
— Dr Queen Victoria (@Vic_Rollison) June 14, 2021
There's a bitter irony in John Barilaro suing @friendlyjordies for painting him as a mafia don scarcely weeks before a FJs team member is arrested for his criticising Barilaro
— Michael Tanner (@MichaelTanner_) June 14, 2021
Langker has been granted strict conditional bail and will appear at Newtown Local Court on June 24.
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