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London police officer sparks outrage after suggesting swastikas should be ‘put into context’ for Jewish woman

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A video showing a police officer in London having a heated discussion with a woman about the offensiveness of swastikas has circulated on social media.

The video was taken on Saturday during a large pro-Palestinian rally monitored by the Metropolitan Police. In the video, a visibly upset woman confronted the officer about an anti-Israel attendee allegedly displaying a swastika.

The officer does not appear to agree that swastikas are offensive symbols that threaten public order. He cited the Public Order Act 2023, which he said defines and limits what police handle during protests.

“In what context does a swastika not disturb public order?” » argued the woman. She repeated her question several times.


Police lines separate the Ceasefire Now protest and pro-Israel counter-protest on March 30, 2024 in London, England. (Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

“I haven’t said anything about it, whether that’s the case or not,” he replied. “You have to take everything in context, right?”

“Yes, but it’s the context of a hate march,” another woman replied, while the first woman retorted: “Why does a swastika need a context?”

“Why isn’t a swastika immediately anti-Semitism?” added the woman. “Why does it need context? That’s what puzzles me. It’s not even about Israel. In what context is a swastika not anti-Semitic and disruptive of ‘public order ?”

“I don’t have in-depth knowledge of signs and symbols,” the officer said. “I know the swastika was used by the Nazi Party during its founding and period of power in Germany.”


Palestinian flags in London

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters wave flags as they gather for a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, central London, March 30, 2024, calling for a ceasefire in the Israel/Hamas conflict. (BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images)

The two men continued to argue before the officer acknowledged that certain symbols were causing “massive alarm.”

“Now, if you come to me and feel massive concern and distress about a symbol that someone was…” he said before being interrupted.

“I am extremely distressed. I am very alarmed,” the woman responded.

On X, the Metropolitan Police released a statement about the incident which implied the video had been taken out of context.

“The video is a short clip of a 10-minute conversation with an officer,” the response states. “During the entire conversation, the officer notices that the person the woman was worried about had previously been arrested for public order offenses in relation to a sign.”

Plan of anti-Israeli protesters

Ceasefire protesters now react to a pro-Israel counter-protest on March 30, 2024 in London, England. (Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

“The officer then offered to arrange for other officers to attend and accompany the woman to identify anyone else she was concerned about among the protesters, but after turning around to speak to her supervisor, she unfortunately left .”

After the video was published, social media users criticized the police officer’s responses to the woman’s arguments.

“This officer is qualified to be president of an Ivy League university,” one X user joked.

“Our police force has reached a new low,” wrote one British commentator.

“And his grandfather probably risked his life fighting the Nazis in WWII. What a shame,” another speculated.

Israeli tank

An Israeli soldier atop a tank on the border with the Gaza Strip, southern Israel, Sunday March 17, 2024. (PA)


Fox News Digital has contacted the Metropolitan Police for additional comment.

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