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Monday, March 9, 2009

World's Fastest Finger-Snapper Files $1 Million Lawsuit Against SFPD, DA, Sheriff Alleging Human Rights Violation

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM


Bobby Badfingers, the world's fastest finger-snapper, has sued various San Francisco law enforcement agencies in connection with what he alleges was his mistreatment during arrest and incarceration 13 months ago. According to a complaint filed in federal court by Badfingers under his civilian name, Robert Van Merta, he was arrested without warrant for an alleged assault, assaulted by police officers, and unjustly held in San Francisco County Jail.

Badfingers is demanding that San Francisco law enforcement officials pay him $1 million for violation of his constitutional rights to due process, defamation, and other alleged harm he suffered during a week stay in San Francisco jails last year..

Badfingers is a novelty performer who attaches tiny microphones --  

click to enlarge mics2c2_thumb_200x146.jpg
--  to his index fingers to allow audiences to experience his extraordinary finger snapping abilities. According to his Web site, Badfingers has opened for The Beach Boys, and performed on television shows such as Late Night With David Letterman, The Howard Stern Show, The View With Barbara Walters, Regis & Kelly, and the Jerry Lewis National Telethon. Badfingers has also been profiled on the Biography Channel in a piece called Behind the Snaps: The Legend of Bobby Badfingers.

Apparently, however, Badfingers' snapping powers were rendered harmless by San Francisco's criminal justice system. Officials allegedly kept him locked up in a jail cell for a full week, yet he was not taken before a magistrate for an arraignment, and charges were never filed, according to Badfingers' complaint, filed on the one-year anniversary of his Feb. 20, 2008 incarceration.

A message left on Badfingers' answering machine was unanswered by press time. As of March 6, San Francisco agencies had not filed a response to Badfingers' complaint.

Whatever its merits, Mr. Badfinger seems determined to make sure the city can't just snap its fingers and make his case go away. SF Weekly will be following the Badfingers v. SF case as it develops.

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Matt Smith

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