A Metro London UK Police officer was captured in a viral video on Tuesday arresting a man for a social media post criticizing the Palestinian flags flying in his neighbourhood. The police department has confirmed the video is real.
The unnamed man had originally posted a one-minute-long video clip of him denouncing a number of Palestinian flags flying along a UK street, according to The Express.
In a post on X, the Metro London Police wrote Wednesday morning, “This video shows the arrest of a man on suspicion of a racially aggravated Section 5 public order offence. The arrested man was taken to an east London police station where he remains at this time. We take all allegations of hate crime incredibly seriously. Where offences have taken place, our officers are attending, supporting victims and making arrests – and we will continue to do so.”
According to the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service, under the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998, an offence under section 5 of that Act (harassment, alarm or distress), which is racially aggravated for the purposes of this section – a constable may arrest without warrant anyone whom he reasonably suspects to be committing an offence.
The maximum penalty on summary conviction is six months imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.
CBN News decided not to post the video the man allegedly posted to his social media account due to the profanity he used on the street. The video of the man’s arrest in front of his distraught wife, who told the police officers she was a stage 4 cancer patient, was also not suitable to post due to the profanity she directed at the officer. Viewer discretion is advised.
During an opinion segment on Sky News Australia, Sky News host Rita Panahi invited her two guests to watch the video of the arrest. After airing the video clip, Panahi called the arrest, “Just madness. We’ve seen the most horrific abuses happening in the streets. Not just hate speech, people attacked, posters torn down, property damage, all sorts of unlawful behaviour that the cops have just watched on without action.”
“And this man is allegedly arrested for allegedly saying things like these people came to our countries and why have they got those flags,” she continued.
The arrest comes after more than 100 pro-Palestinian protesters occupied London’s Liverpool Street station on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The group hung banners from balconies, and demanded a ceasefire in Gaza, reportedly chanting the Hamas genocide chant against Israel: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” That Palestinian chant calls for the elimination of the Jewish people.
However, a UK cabinet minister warned last month that waving a Palestinian flag on British streets “may not be legitimate” any longer if it is deemed to be a show of support for acts of terrorism. Home Secretary Suella Braverman also said the protesters’ chant could be considered antisemitic since it calls for the destruction of Israel.
Braverman told police officers to use the “full force of the law” against any shows of support for Hamas or bids to intimidate the UK’s Jewish community in the wake of the attack on Israel, according to The Independent.
Braverman wrote a letter to chiefs of police giving examples that could be public order offences, including any that target Jewish neighbourhoods, waving pro-Palestinian or pro-Hamas symbols and chanting slogans that could be interpreted as anti-Israeli, the outlet reported.
The cabinet minister also told the police chiefs explicit pro-Hamas signs were not the only thing to watch.
“I would encourage police to consider whether chants such as ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ should be understood as an expression of a violent desire to see Israel erased from the world, and whether its use in certain contexts may amount to a racially aggravated Section 5 public order offence,” Braverman wrote.
“I would encourage police to give similar consideration to the presence of symbols such as swastikas at anti-Israel demonstrations. Context is crucial. Behaviours that are legitimate in some circumstances, for example, the waving of a Palestinian flag, may not be legitimate such as when intended to glorify acts of terrorism,” she continued.
At least 12 British citizens were killed during Hamas’ barbaric terror attack in Israel on Oct. 7 and 5 are still missing, according to CNN.