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(LifeSiteNews) – Police have been filmed arresting an army veteran in England for causing someone “anxiety” by posting LGBTQ “Progress Pride” flags arranged in the shape of a swastika on social media.
Actor and Reclaim Party founder Laurence Fox, who originally posted the meme, shared a film of the July 28 arrest on Twitter, which has since gone viral. His video footage shows a police officer explaining why they are arresting veteran Darren Brady, but not Fox, for posting the meme.
“Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. And that is why you’re being arrested,” the unnamed officer told Brady.
“A perfectly peaceful war veteran is being handcuffed for a Facebook post by a politically motivated police force. He’s not resisted. This is a man who served our country. And you people are a disgrace,” Fox said as the police handcuffed Brady.
— Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) July 28, 2022
Fox later remarked in front of the police, “They serve a protected ideology, an untouchable ideology. That’s what it’s about. If you criticize the new woke ideology, you criticize all of this pride movement … you make any criticism of it whatsoever and you end up in cuffs. Know that, citizens of Great Britain.”
The arrest in Hampshire, England was reportedly made officially for “malicious communications,” according to Police Commissioner Donna Jones. The UK’s Malicious Communications Act of 1988 criminalizes communications considered “indecent or grossly offensive.”
Moreover, according to the Hampshire police website, hate crimes are determined by perception, and not objective criteria. The site explains that “A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on” race, sexual orientation, disability, or transgenderism.”
It adds that hate crimes don’t always “include physical violence,” but can consist of “offensive language” or “abusive or offensive messages” online.
After backlash from the public over the incident, Jones criticized the arrest but stopped short of unreserved condemnation. She appeared to take issue instead with the public response, and the way in which the police prioritized the arrest.
She explained that the “alleged hate crime” followed “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 wrote.
She 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.”
She added that she would “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.”
Dr. Avris Lavranos remarked, “That response from the commissioner is absolutely ridiculous. It frames the issue *relative* to other police uses, instead of *absolutely* (that the arrest for making someone anxious is ludicrous).”
In June, Fox’s Twitter account was locked when he used the “Progress Pride” flag swastika as his profile image. A notice said he violated Twitter’s “rules against abusive profile information” and “rules against posting hateful imagery.”
Fox subsequently shared a screenshot of the Twitter notification, observing, “You can openly call the [Union Jack] a symbol of fascism and totalitarianism on Twatter. You cannot criticise the holy flags,’ referring to the “gay pride” and “transgender pride” flags.
One of the declared aims of Fox’s Reclaim Party is to “change freedom of speech laws and to depoliticise the police and other public institutions.” He founded the party after his 21-year acting career was ended for “challenging the woke orthodoxy of ‘white privilege’ and ‘systemic racism,’ according to its website.