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Man jailed in UK for posting memes of George Floyd in Whatsapp & Facebook group chats

Ex-police officer James Watt appeared in Birmingham's magistrate's court for sharing 10 memes about George Floyd in a WhatsApp group chat.

Man jailed in UK for posting memes of George Floyd in Whatsapp & Facebook group chats
Baphote / Fotolia
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A former West Mercia police officer has been jailed for 20 weeks for sharing 10 memes about George Floyd in a WhatsApp group chat and charged with "sending grossly offensive messages".

The judge by the name of Tan Ikram said, "You were a prison officer. I have no doubt you would have received training in relation to diversity and inclusion in that role.” 

“You undermined the confidence the public has in the police. Your behavior 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."

The person who made a complaint about James Watt, left the group chat and posted screenshots on Twitter with the caption: "Former work colleague now serving police officer sent these in group chat. What hope is there in police in the UK sharing these."

When James' phone was seized for an investigation, it was revealed that James sent "grossly offensive" memes to multiple whatsapp groups and through Meta’s Messenger.

Watts was ordered to pay the complainant £75 compensation along with a £115 in court costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

Judge Ikram decided to dismiss the idea of a suspended sentence where he said "A message must go out and that message can only go out through an immediate sentence of imprisonment."

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