British Veteran Arrested for ‘Causing Anxiety’ After Sharing Swastika Made Out of Progress Pride Flags on Social Media
“Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. That is why you have been arrested.”
The Hampshire Police arrested veteran Darren Brady, 51, for allegedly “causing anxiety” when he retweeted a swastika made out of the progress pride flag.
If you saw this video go viral, the details are even more insane.
British police arrested a guy for posting this meme on social media of the trans flag shaped like a swastika.
They also arrested the guy who filmed the video for good measure. pic.twitter.com/1nnUxZR0jU
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 31, 2022
The Hampshire Constabulary justified the arrest because “they were prevented from entering the address to discuss a potential resolution to the matter.”
Except…that’s not what the police told Brady. From The Daily Mail:
In the video, shot on a mobile phone, Mr Brady can be heard asking the three police officers: ‘Why am I in cuffs?’
One officer responds: ‘It didn’t have to come to this at all.’
Mr Brady replied: ‘Tell us why you escalated it to this level because I don’t understand.’
The officer adds: ‘Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. That is why you have been arrested.’
Laurence Fox, an actor and now campaigner, first shared the picture on Twitter He explained that “the image reflected his belief that LGBT pride month ‘is enforced with a sense of hectoring authoritarianism.'”
Twitter froze Fox’s account. A London Assembly member demanded the police investigate him.
Police and Crime Committee in the Greater London Authority member Caroline Russell said: “I hope the Met Police will look into Laurence Fox using pride flags to create nazi imagery and posting the images on a public platform. This is a hate crime.”
The officers also arrested former police officer Harry Miller when he tried to stop them from arresting Brady. Miller has had some run-ins with the Hampshire Police, too:
He told MailOnline: ‘Hampshire Police showed a blatant disregard of the law. They approached Mr Brady and acted as summary judge, jury and executioner – but didn’t know what offence he’d actually committed. They said he was being arrested for causing anxiety, which is utterly ridiculous!
‘Mr Brady is a British Army Veteran and they were trying to extort him for money by making him pay around £80 for educational course so he could downgrade from a crime to a non-crime, which would still show up in a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
‘They thought they could get away with it. It was the world’s worst shakedown.’
Commenting on the video circulating on Twitter, Mr Miller wrote: ‘I’d been locked up by this time and missed this exchange. I’m speechless.’
Mr Miller, who in December won a Court of Appeal challenge over police guidance on ‘hate incidents’, said police visited the man 10 days earlier and has informed him that he could take the option of attending an £80 education course to avoid being arrested and possibly charged with a criminal offence.
“Education course.” My goodness.
Brady said on Twitter: “It’s nice to be able to enjoy a Sunday morning in peace without being harassed by Hampshire Police trying to extort money from me, or have me ‘re-educated’ for sharing a meme on the Internet.”
“Re-educated.” My goodness.
Is the meme in poor taste? Yes. It’s still no excuse to arrest someone.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire Donna Jones criticized the officers:
‘I am concerned about both the proportionality and necessity of the police’s response to this incident. When incidents on social media receive not one but two visits from police officers, but burglaries and non-domestic break-ins don’t always get a police response, something is wrong.
‘As Police Commissioner, I am committed to ensuring Hampshire Constabulary serves the public as the majority of people would expect. It appears on this occasion this has not happened.
‘This incident has highlighted a really topical issue which Hampshire Constabulary and other police forces need to learn from. In order to support this I will be writing to the College of Policing to make them aware of this incident and encourage greater clarification on the guidance in order to ensure that police forces can respond more appropriately in the future.’
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