Man faces 18-month jail sentence for 'making parody police page on Facebook'

'Parma is an equal opportunity employer but is strongly encouraging minorities not to apply'

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The Independent US

A man is facing a felony charge and a potential jail time after making a parody Facebook page mimicking his city's police department profile.

Anthony Novak, 27, is a resident of Parma, a small city on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio. 

After making a parody Parma Police Department Facebook page, he has been charged with a count of disrupting public services, reports.

The fourth-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail; however, probation is often seen as a more appropriate response.

The profile picture, cover photo and headline are virtually identical on the two pages, but the posts on the now-deleted fake page appear clearly parodic.

"Parma is an equal opportunity employer but is strongly encouraging minorities not to apply," one reads. Another post suggests that the department is trying to "have the homeless population eventually leave our city due to starvation", while a third jokes that the department will be offering "free abortion to teens" at an upcoming fundraiser.

The fake news stories and bulletin posts on the page draw on several commonly-held beliefs about American police, implying that they are lazy, corrupt and institutionally racist.

In a post on their genuine Facebook page, the department wrote: "This matter is currently being investigated by the Parma Police Department and Facebook. The public should disregard any and all information posted on the fake Facebook account.

"The individual(s) who created this fake account are not employed by the police department in any capacity and were never authorized to post information on behalf of the department."

Comments on the post accused Parma Police of infringing Novak's right to free speech under the First Amendment to the American Constitution, and suggested that the department could find better ways to spend their time and money,

Novak will appear in court on Monday March 28, where a grand jury will decide if he is to face any charges.