UK Police Apologize, Give £4,000 To Photog For Bogus Arrest And Gay Slur

Jules Mattsson was just 15 when he was stopped by police for taking photos of a London parade in 2010.

It was Armed Forces Day—and the coppers claimed that photographing the servicemen amounted to anti-social behavior and could be considered a terrorist threat. We’re not up on the details of English etiquette, but we’re pretty sure snapping pics of a parade wouldn’t set Miss Manners’ hair on end.

When the teen demanded an explanation, an inspector told him that he was  “running around being stupid and gay.”

Ah now that we know is a capital offense!

But Mattson (at right) is a wise lad—he recorded the incident on tape and filed a complaint. On Monday, Mattsson received an apology and £4,000 in compensation from the Metropolitan Police.

“It was a bizarre and ridiculous situation,” Mattsson told the Telegraph. “I was not doing anything wrong and yet they arrested me. When I complained they came up with this ridiculous explanation.”

If the London fuzz was looking to intimidate Mattsson with their homophobic slur, it couldn’t have backfired more—he’s now an established professional photographer with an impressive portfolio.

Image via DulcieLee

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  • bagooka

    “and the coppers claimed that photographing the servicemen amounted to anti-social behavior and could be considered a terrorist threat.”

    Typical police paranoia. They come up with the most ridiculous charge they can make. I wonder what they would call an actual terrorist threat by a sleeper cell unit. Perhaps a declaration of war by a foreign power?

  • ewe

    I should have a video cam sewed into my forehead.

  • Henry

    @ewe: I saw the other video cam, the one sewed into your ball sack. Wendy looked good.

  • slanty

    @bagooka: You know what’s actually anti-social behavior? Coming up with bogus charges. It’s not normal human behavior, and it wouldn’t be surprising if there were some psychopaths in this particular UK unit.

  • o

    If the coppers don’t want to be noticed, they shouldn’t wear such bright green jump suits. Another good way to remain low key is making the charges fit the crime. After all, cops remain safe when they recognize the human rights of other people, and when they don’t abuse the many obvious institutional advantages of power they have over citizens.

  • Henry

    @bagooka: It’s unfortunate that paranoia is bred into cops (well, American cops and European cops). This is effected in institutional ways by very foolish overseers who don’t know any better, and it’s accepted by the cops on the beat because paranoia is thrilling. Yes, it’s thrilling. They act as though a matter of life and death (which police work often isn’t) were a matter of eternal salvation.

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