A video purporting to show an autistic teenager being arrested in the U.K. for hate speech and dragged out of her home by police officers for allegedly saying a female cop looked like a lesbian like her grandmother has sparked outrage online.
The footage, originally posted on TikTok by the teenager’s mother before subsequently receiving over 2 million views on X, showed at least six police officers from West Yorkshire Police attending a private residence where the teen was arrested.
It showed her being dragged to a police vehicle while in considerable distress.
According to the mother, the teenager, who suffers from autism, said in passing to her mother that one of the police officers looked like a lesbian like her grandmother.
The footage showed an altercation between the police officers and the teen’s family at her home in Leeds where the teenager could be seen cowering under the stairs and punching the walls in distress.
Her mother told police officers, including the female cop to whom the alleged remark was directed, that her child is disabled.
“She’s autistic!” the mother told the police, to which the offended female officer replied: “I don’t care,” and informed the family the teen was being arrested.
“Her nanna is a lesbian. She’s married to a woman. She’s not homophobic,” the mother insisted.
The offended police officer could be seen clenching her fists.
“She didn’t aim it at the police officer. It’s not a homophobic remark. She said, ‘I think she’s a lesbian like nanna,'” the mother added.
Police officers then proceeded to grab the girl who could be heard screaming and shouting, and dragged her to the police vehicle outside.
“I also explained to them she has severe scoliosis and a twisted spine so them pulling at her arms will cause her extreme pain in her shoulders,” the mother posted in her video.
It is understood from Facebook posts published on Monday by Lisa Rozycki, the teen’s mother, that her daughter was held for almost a day before being released without charge.
“So police have interviewed my daughter without me there as her appropriate adult. After 20 hours in cells for saying the policewoman reminded her of her nanna who’s a lesbian. And get this – she’s not been charged but she’s on unconditional bail? What does that even mean? Someone??” Ms. Rozycki wrote.
Remix News has been unable to verify why the authorities attended the property at first instance.
Several conservative commentators and activist groups condemned the overzealous policing, and the video was even commented on by global tennis superstar Martina Navratilova who said it looked as though the police had “gone crazy” and called for the officers involved to be sacked.
“This needs to be referred to Professional Standards immediately and action contemplated regarding unlawful arrest,” stated the Fair Cop activist group of gender-critical lawyers, police officers, writers, and professionals against the “Big Brother’ overreach” by authorities.
“This represents the absolute worst of a police force captured by a political ideology. Unlawful, disproportionate, and hateful.
“We don’t know what happened immediately before or immediately after the arrest – but it seems difficult to see how this can be rescued. It’s a long clip showing unlawful and dangerous police activity,” it added.
“This is disgusting. Police harass, intimidate and arrest an autistic child for simply saying she thought someone looked like a lesbian. They should be out catching real criminals not picking on children,” remarked David Kurten, a former UKIP politician and teacher.
“As a mother to a daughter with autism and no filter, who exhibits identical symptoms to this child, this makes me shudder and rage simultaneously,” said Catholic media commentator Caroline Farrow.
The footage was also picked up on by several free speech advocacy campaigns in Ireland where the government is seeking to introduce controversial reforms to the country’s hate speech laws.
“We don’t have to look any further than the U.K. to see how Hate Speech legislation works in effect. In a few months’ time, it could be the Gardaí compelled to arrest individuals on such grounds,” remarked Free Speech Ireland.
“This is what could be ahead for Ireland if Helen McEntee does not do the right thing and bin the bill that cannot stand up in any forum that upholds the Law and natural rights and freedoms,” added Lawyers For Justice Ireland.