• Search

Former British Cop Gets 20 Weeks In Prison For Sharing Offensive George Floyd Memes

Worchester, UNITED KINGDOM – A former British police constable was sentenced to 20 weeks behind bars for sending messages mocking the death of George Floyd in WhatsApp.

Prosecutors said former West Mercia Police Constable James Watts sent the “grossly offensive” messages in a group chat shortly after the death of Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, The Guardian reported.

Some of the recipients of the post were Watts’ former colleagues at a prison in Warwickshire.

Police launched an investigation and determined that the 31-year-old Watts had shared 10 offensive memes – four of them about Floyd – in May and June of 2020, The Guardian reported.

Prosecutors said one of the memes featured a white dog wearing Ku Klux Klan outfit and another showed a kneeling mat with Floyd’s face printed on it.

He also shared jokes about Floyd’s death that featured pictures of George of the Jungle and the children’s game Guess Who, according to The Guardian.

Watts pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sending a grossly offensive or menacing message by a public communication network at an earlier hearing.

On June 14, he appeared at the Birmingham magistrates court and was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, The Guardian reported.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram told Watts at sentencing that he had “undermined the confidence the public has in the police.”

“At the time of these offences, you were a police officer – a person to whom the public looks up to to uphold the law – but you did the opposite,” Ikram said.

“Your behavior brings the criminal justice system as a whole into disrepute,” he continued. “The hostility that you demonstrated on the basis of race makes this offending so serious that I cannot deal with it by a community penalty or a fine.”

“A message must go out and that message can only go out through an immediate sentence of imprisonment,” the magistrate announced.

Ikram said Watts’ post had gone far beyond “stupidity or foolishness,” The Guardian reported.

Watts name has been added to the College of Policing’s barred list, the Daily Mail reported.

That means Watts cannot work in the law enforcement in England or Wales for the rest of his life.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."