Officer jailed for mocking death of George Floyd

A former West Mercia Police officer has been sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to 10 counts of sending a grossly offensive message via a public communication network.

Jun 15, 2022
By Website Editor

Police constable James Watts posted racist WhatsApp memes mocking the death of George Floyd sharing the material in a group chat, which included former colleagues at a Warwickshire prison.

IOPC regional director, Derrick Campbell said: “We note the prison sentence imposed on former West Mercia Police officer James Watts today after he earlier pleaded guilty to sharing grossly offensive, racist material via WhatsApp. The sharing of such images by a serving officer, some of which mocked the death of George Floyd, is bound to have caused significant reputational damage to policing.

“The content of these messages will disturb many people both within and outside the police service. Today’s outcome must act as a stark reminder that this behaviour, particularly from a police officer, is unacceptable. It is important officers understand it is irrelevant whether such activity takes place on or off duty, or in a private or public social media network – the conduct is likely to face serious disciplinary or criminal consequences.

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