A British police officer is facing racial misconduct charges for joking “maybe I should start eating curry” on hearing of a South Asian man aged 105.
Police Constable David Warwick is said to have made the humorous remark while speaking to a fellow officer of Indian heritage at Shepcote Lane police station, near the Sheffield suburb of Tinsley, South Yorkshire, back in July 2020.
“It is alleged that on 20 July, 2020, whilst at Shepcote Lane Police Station, PC Warwick was in conversation with another police officer who is of British Indian heritage. It is alleged that during that conversation, in jest he used a racist, offensive, inappropriate and or discriminatory word,” according to a semi-literate statement quoted by local media.
“It is alleged that when learning of an Asian male who was 105 years old, PC Warwick made a comment in the following or similar terms: ‘Maybe I should start eating curry’,” the statement continued gravely.
“The above comment was racially offensive, included the use of a racial stereotype, inappropriate; and/or discriminatory in nature,” it concluded, in terms which leave it open to question if South Yorkshire Police is treating the allegations against its officer as allegations ahead of his gross misconduct hearing or if it has already decided he is guilty.
‘Being Offensive Is an Offence’ — UK Police Mocked for ‘Hate Crime Awareness’ Event https://t.co/l54qjZhuHx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 22, 2021
PC Warwick is in some respects luckier than many Britons accused of using “racist, offensive, inappropriate and or discriminatory word[s]” who are not in uniform, with thousands being arrested for making supposedly offensive comments, particularly on social media.
On September 8th, for example, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) boasted of having obtained a criminal conviction and 14-week suspended prison sentence for a man who posted “racist and insulting comments about England players, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who missed penalties in a shoot-out to decide the result” of the Euros football tournament in a Facebook status update.
“We would sincerely like to thank the individual who brought this appalling hate crime to our attention and gave us the opportunity to work with Cheshire Police to bring this offence to Court,” the CPS said of the so-called Facebook “Friend” of the convicted man, whose comments were described as “vile” in the prosecution service’s report but not actually quoted for readers to evaluate themselves.
In theory, Britain does enjoy some level of free speech protection, particularly as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which includes a right to Freedom of Expression.
This “right”, however, is qualified with a warning that it “may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary” — rendering it more of a green light for the state to restrict freedom of expression in all sorts of circumstances than a genuine shield against state censors in the style of the U.S. First Amendment.
The British public petitioned Parliament for a Free Speech Act in 2018, but the Tories under former prime minister Theresa May rejected it with a nonsense statement asserting that “Everyone has a right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights [but] hate speech [is] not acceptable in our society, and anyone seeking to use freedom of speech as an excuse to break the law should still face the full force of the law.”
Tory Government REJECTS Petition for a Free Speech Act https://t.co/bclH3hoEng
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 28, 2018