What Freedom of Speech? Former Cop Jailed After Sharing ‘Offensive’ Meme Online
I’m telling you; our rights are being eroded away little by little.
While this incident happened in the United Kingdom, we are normally behind the U.K. by about 10 years, so you can expect that this is how long it’s going to take for us to fall into this sad state as well.
A man in the United Kingdom was recently imprisoned after he shared what the powers that be consider to be “offensive memes” over the death of George Floyd.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people should be sharing memes about a dead man, and I don’t think that people should be sharing genuinely offensive memes about anyone for that matter. I think that we should all still practice the principle of treating others the way that you want to be treated. There is so much power in that one little thing that every one of us can do.
However, it shouldn’t be a crime to share a meme under any circumstance, maybe with the exception that a genuine threat is made in the meme.
The Express UK reported,
James Watts, who worked for West Mercia Police prior to resigning, sent images to his friends making references to not being able to breathe. The 31-year-old also made crude jokes about genitalia.
Watts, from Clifton Road, Castle Bromwich had previously admitted to 10 charges of sending grossly offensive messages.
Today, (June 14), he was sentenced to 20-weeks in prison, reports Birmingham Live.
In an unusual move, Deputy Judge Tan Ikram, having heard the case at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, announced he would pass sentence over the road at the Birmingham Crown Court annex building.
It meant Watts had to walk unceremoniously through the street in front of waiting photographers having covered up outside court for his previous appearance.
Judge Ikram said: “You undermined the confidence the public has in the police. Your behaviour brings the criminal justice system as a whole into disrepute.
“You are there to protect the public and enforce the law. But what you did was the complete opposite.”
I haven’t actually seen the memes and I wouldn’t post them here if I found them, but from what I’ve read, they were racist in nature as well as offensive in another manner.
Again, I think that it was definitely wrong, but unless it was threatening, I don’t see why he should be imprisoned for it.