A police force has been chastised by its own elected commissioner for arresting a British Army veteran for posting a meme making fun of an LGBT flag on Facebook while burglaries are ignored.
On Thursday, Reclaim Party leader Laurence Fox released footage on social media of an unnamed veteran being arrested by three officers of the Hampshire Constabulary for reposting a meme that had previously landed Fox with a Twitter suspension and even calls for his arrest.
The meme in question displayed four Progress Pride flags together in order to form a swastika, which Fox claimed was intended to mock the growing authoritarianism of woke ideology in Britain. For sharing this meme, the veteran was cuffed outside his home by multiple officers and arrested because “someone was offended”.
Speaking to Breitbart London, the Reclaim Party leader likened the actions of the police to those of the “the Gestapo, the Stasi, or the Cheka,” and said that it showed that modern-day Britain is no longer a democracy.
Former police officer turned free speech campaigner Harry Miller was also arrested during the incident for “obstruction”. Miller, who won a major legal victory against police branding people as being responsible for “non-crime hate incidents” — which show up in background checks — last year, told Breitbart London that he did not believe it could be classified as obstruction as he was preventing officers from carrying out an “unlawful act”.
— Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) July 28, 2022
Issuing a statement on the incidents, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Donna Jones of the Conservative Party, said on Friday: “I am aware of the video published on Twitter which shows the arrest of two men in Hampshire yesterday, one for malicious communications and one for obstruction of a police officer.
“I have taken this issue up with the Constabulary today and have been advised officers made the arrests following a complaint from a member of the public of an alleged hate crime.
“It follows a post on social media of Progress Pride flags in the shape of a Swastika.
“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,” Jones continued.
“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.”
In a statement to Breitbart London, the police force in question claimed that officers had acted “in good faith” while trying to respond to an alleged hate crime.
While the police said that the veteran who was arrested for sharing the meme online had been released and no further action is planned in his case, Mr Miller is currently still under investigation, with “inquiries still ongoing”.
Free Speech Win? UK Police Told That Being Offensive Is Not a Crime https://t.co/anzE6CAzxb
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 23, 2022
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