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British men arrested, investigated for “hate crime” after staged George Floyd murder Snapchat post

Police believing the content is a crime raises alarms about a lack of free expression in the UK, no matter how distasteful and unpleasant the content may be.
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Three young British men were arrested and taken into police custody after they uploaded a video on Snapchat satirically recreating George Floyd’s murder.

The United States is currently in a state of upheaval after the death of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer and protests, riots, and looting have broken out. When the images became known, the repercussions were immediate and national protests began to appear.

However, not everyone seems to be worried about this situation, since three young people uploaded a video to Snapchat where they recreated the brutal moment that Mr. Floyd suffered. The video, originally shared among their inner circle of friends, gained fame when 16-year-old student Elesha Foord shared it on Twitter and Facebook.

Owing to the viralization of the footage and the fury it caused among the community, the young natives of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear became, in various ways, a target for the Northumbria police.

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A police statement said: “We can confirm we are investigating after an image was shared on social media which showed two men imitating the recent death of US citizen George Floyd.

“An investigation was launched and yesterday (Sunday) officers arrested two males aged 19 and another male aged 18 on suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress.

“They have since been released on bail. We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.”

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