Police in Manchester have decided not to press charges against Steven Peers who was arrested for impersonating an officer. The twist is that Peers was wearing a pig mask at the time and a toy bobby’s helmet. Peers is an electrical engineer who uses his comic character ‘Officer 666’ to highlight the “violence, corruption and bad behavior.”
The video below comes off as rather silly as the real officer points out that the toy helmet said police officer on it and thus was a matter of impersonating an officer. Peers, 46, was held for eight hours on the charge, but police then dropped the case because of “insufficient evidence.” That seems like a rather indirect way of saying it was a baseless arrest. The court appears to have simply told Peers “That’ll do pig. That’ll do.”
What concerns me is that this was clearly an act of free speech and peaceful protest that was stopped by the arrest. The prosecutors presented no evidence against him. However, there is no account of a review of the arrest and the conduct of the officer. The videotape does not show abuse and the whole matter was handled peacefully. Yet, there remains the question of the judgment of the officers in carrying out the arrest of a peaceful protester on such a charge. Of course, before we point fingers at our English cousins, the D.C. City Council not long ago moved to make even wearing a mask a crime in some protests.
Source: Manchester Evening News