A now-fired British police officer and former prison guard faces imprisonment for sending "grossly offensive" memes about George Floyd on WhatsApp. Floyd, who died after U.S. police officer Derek Chauvin — since convicted of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter — kneeled on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis, was included among ten memes alleged to be "grossly offensive" which were shared by ex-constable James Watts in a group chat. Sending such messages is a crime under the Communications Act 2003 in the United Kingdom, where the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed only under the very loose parameters laid out in the European Convention on Human Rights and is largely notional. Article 10 of this convention states that people have the "freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers" — but that the exercise of this right "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,… Read full this story
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