Video has emerged of British police arresting an army veteran after the man shared a meme on Facebook that was claimed to have “caused anxiety” for someone.
51-year-old Darren Brady was arrested in Aldershot Friday for re-posting a meme of LGBT flags arranged in the shape of a swastika.
The meme was originally posted by conservative political activist Laurence Fox, whose Twitter account was subsequently locked, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Fox explained that the meme is a way of bringing attention to Pride Month increasingly being “enforced with a sense of hectoring authoritarianism.”
Fox also retweeted this post, explaining the same point:
When Mr Brady re-posted the meme to Facebook, someone reported him to the police, who turned up at his house, not once but twice.
The first time, Brady said that the police gave him the ‘option’ of attending an “re-education course” at his own cost of £80 to avoid being arrested and potentially charged with a hate crime.
Police then returned ten days later and arrested Brady, as well as Harry Miller, a former police officer turned activist who tried to prevent the arrest.
Laurence Fox, who Brady also contacted in the intervening time, filmed the arrest.
In the footage, Brady asks the officers “Why am I in cuffs?” to which one of them responds “It didn’t have to come to this at all.”
“Tell us why you escalated it to this level because I don’t understand,” Brady asks the officers, to which one replies “Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. That is why you have been arrested.”
A statement from Hampshire Constabulary Police reads “When officers arrived they were prevented from entering the address to discuss a potential resolution to the matter.”
It adds, “As a result, officers felt it was necessary to arrest a man at the scene so they could interview him in relation to the alleged offence.”
Mr Miller later appeared on Talk TV to discuss the incident:
As we noted last month, police in the UK say they no longer have the resources to investigate burglaries. Yet they do have time to investigate ‘offensive’ memes and playground insults:
Police have increasingly been harassing and interrogating people, even children, over social media posts.
As we previously highlighted, a UK man was jailed for 20 weeks for the ‘crime’ of posting offensive George Floyd memes in private WhatsApp and Facebook group chats.
Last year, a 50-year-old mother in Scotland was charged with a ‘transphobic hate crime’ after she retweeted an image of a suffragette ribbon.
After contacting his employers, Humberside Police interrogated a man and told him to “check his thinking” after he posted a limerick that offended a transgender person.
In June, Essex police force faced ridicule for tweeting its support for gay pride but then in the same tweet warning respondents that it would be “monitoring” replies for “hate crime.”
And, as we highlighted last year, Merseyside Police were forced to respond after officers took part in an electronic ad campaign outside a supermarket which claimed “being offensive is an offence,” with authorities later clarifying that it is in fact not an offense.