Ex-cop jailed for racist WhatsApp messages mocking death of George Floyd

James Watts, a married father of one from Birmingham, shared racist memes in a group chat mocking the death of black American George Floyd

James Watts convicted at Birmingham Magistrates Court
James Watts convicted at Birmingham Magistrates Court

An ex-cop has been jailed for sending racist WhatsApp messages mocking the death of George Floyd.

Married father-of-one James Watts was already serving with West Mercia Police in 2020 when he shared “grossly offensive” messages in a group chat.

Birmingham Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday how the 31-year-old, who now faces 20 weeks in prison, was charged following a police investigation into 10 memes published in May and June 2020.

One of the shared memes featured a white dog wearing Ku Klux Klan clothing and another had a kneeling mat with George Floyd’s face printed on it.

The images, Deputy Chief Justice Tan Ikram said, “undermined public confidence in the police.”







The 31-year-old leaves the court
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Picture:

BPM MEDIA)

Other memes joked about Mr. Floyd’s death and featured images of George of the Jungle and the children’s game Guess Who.

During the police interviews, Watts accepted that the messages shared in the group, which included former colleagues at a Warwickshire prison, were racial in nature.

Another message, found after a Twitter user claimed a serving cop posted racist memes, mocked a line in the movie Jaws.

Watts, of Clifton Road, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to 10 counts of sending a grossly offensive or threatening message through a public communications network.







George Floyd with his daughter Gianna in an undated family photo in Minneapolis
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Picture:

via REUTERS)

Mr. Ikram detained the accused and said to him, “These are the most serious offences. They were employed in positions of considerable responsibility.

“Since your discovery, you have cooperated with the authorities at every stage and accepted your wrongs.

“But the fact remains that over a period of about a month you continued to post messages that were grossly offensive.

“I don’t agree with your attorney that this was stupidity or foolishness. That goes far beyond that.”

Mr Ikram continued: “You were previously a prison officer. I have no doubt that in this role you would have received diversity and inclusion training.

“At the time of these offenses you were a police officer – a person the public looks up to to uphold the law – but you did the opposite.

“They have undermined public confidence in the police. Their behavior brings the criminal justice system into disrepute.

“You are there to protect the public and enforce the law, but what you did was the complete opposite.

“The animosity you have shown because of race makes this offense so serious that I cannot deal with it with a community penalty or a fine.

“A message needs to get out, and the only way that message can get across is immediate imprisonment.”

Mr Floyd died after a US police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, prosecutors in the case said. His death sparked anti-racism protests around the world.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ex-police-officer-jailed-racist-27232292 Ex-cop jailed for racist WhatsApp messages mocking death of George Floyd

Fry Electronics Team

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