Three teenagers from the United Kingdom have been arrested for an edgy Snapchat post where they recreated the fatal arrest of George Floyd.
The death of Floyd has reopened a conversation on police brutality and systemic racism geared against black people. As a result, there have been widespread riots causing tens of millions of dollars of damage and multiple fatalities.
The teenagers–aged between 18 and 19–are allegedly in police custody and under protection following their social media stunt which led to their arrests under suspicion of committing a “hate crime.”
According to The Mirror, the trio, all from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, posted the offensive joke to Snapchat last week.
Since the post became public, all three young men shut down their social media accounts and allegedly went into police protection after they had received several death threats.
A source, who had gone to school with the young men, said: “It’s all blown up in their faces and they’ve received death threats.
“They were arrested on Sunday night and have had their phones taken off them and everything.
“It’s turned into a witch hunt and they’ve had some really nasty threats – some of which have been targeted at their families which isn’t right at all.”
The source went onto add: “The police know about it and are protecting them against any vigilante attacks.”
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 1, 2020
Social media queried the arrests on ground of freedom of speech–something reputably dead in the water in the UK.
“Why? Being offensive isn’t a criminal offence,” commented one tweeter.
A second person tweeted: “Meanwhile you can make joke about Asian grooming gangs and have it put on national TV.”
“Imagine if the police would act as quickly when children are groomed and raped,” wrote a third.
“If “mocking” is now an arrestable offence, isn’t that going to apply to every comedian and pundit on TV today?” remarked a fourth.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson issued a statement:
“We can confirm we are investigating after an image was shared on social media which showed two men imitating the recent death of US citizen George Floyd.
“An investigation was launched and yesterday (Sunday) officers arrested two males aged 19 and another male aged 18 on suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress.
“They have since been released on bail. We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.”
Claims as to whether the boys were receiving police protection were not confirmed.
The UK has a history of police targeting individuals for wrongthink. A Catholic journalist was interrogated after misgendering somebody on Twitter.
Earlier this year, a teenager with Asperger’s was fined and placed under house arrest for asking a Police Community Support Officer what gender they identified as on that day.
Via National File:
Declan Armstrong, 19, allegedly offended the transgender support officer, Connor Freel, who was reportedly left “upset and embarrassed” by the question.
Armstrong, who denied charges of violating the Welsh Public Order Act 1986 by “using abusive or insulting words with intent to cause harassment,” had his sentenced raised from “a low level to a medium level community order because of its transphobic nature,” in keeping with the British justice system’s tough stance on transphobia, emphasizing tolerance and inclusivity.
Armstrong was fined £590–around $800 USD–at Mold Magistrates’ Court and given a strict 3-month curfew, according to Yahoo News.
The UK continues to gallantly champion progressive ideology to the detriment of its “liberal” principles–in this case, freedom of speech–upon which its current form was founded.