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A police sergeant is under criminal investigation for allegedly sharing a racist ‘altered image’ of George Floyd’s arrest on WhatsApp.

The sergeant is also being investigated for serious misconduct in connection with the image, which was allegedly released to the group on May 30, five days after Floyd’s death in the United States at the hands of a white officer.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said the WhatsApp group in which the image was allegedly published included several police officers and staff.

Devon and Cornwall police officer investigated over George Floyd meme

A British police officer is under criminal investigation by the police watchdog for sharing an offensive George Floyd meme with other officers on a private social media chat group.

The Guardian learned that the officer, who is with the Devon and Cornwall force, would have shared the image on May 30, five days after Floyd’s death in the United States, and the investigation will consider whether he was motivated by the racism.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating the officer, who has the rank of sergeant, for possible serious misconduct.

Floyd’s altered image was allegedly sent to a WhatsApp group made up of police officers and staff, as well as civilians. It was reported to the bosses by a fellow white police officer from the same police force within 48 hours after the image was sent.

“Our researchers will consider whether sharing this image was motivated by racial discrimination. Devon and Cornwall police promptly referred him to the IOPC, and I would like to assure people that we are conducting a thorough and independent investigation. ”

Devon and Cornwall Assistant Police Chief Jim Nye said the force “expects the highest standards of behavior from all its personnel when on and off duty at all times. This matter was quickly revealed internally by a member of the Personal and informed a Devon and Cornwall police manager. A proactive referral to the IOPC was then made as soon as possible. As an interim measure, the Devon and Cornwall police have decided to suspend a police sergeant involved in the investigation. ”

He added: “The Devon and Cornwall police fully appreciate the concern that our communities will have regarding such an investigation. I assure you that I, and the Chief of Police, will do our utmost to ensure that the matter is addressed in an effective and timely manner. ”

The IOPC said: “A criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily be brought. The delivery of notices of misconduct informs an individual that their conduct is subject to investigation and does not necessarily imply guilt. ”

The Devon and Cornwall force previously referred to the IOPC for the arrest of 35-year-old Simeon Francis, after a video of him being detained by police in downtown Exeter appeared. During last year’s arrest, Francis says “I can’t breathe” and complained of pressure in his throat when officers stopped him.

The IOPC is also investigating Francis’ death last month after he was found unanswered in a custody suite in Torquay, Devon.

TheDevon Police sergeant is also being investigated for gross misconduct in relation to the image

The sergeant is also being investigated for serious misconduct in connection with the image, which was allegedly released to the group on May 30, five days after Floyd’s death in the United States at the hands of a white officer.

Some other members of the group are also being investigated for their alleged response to the image, or for their apparent failure to report the matter.

Floyd died after a white police officer detained him by pressing his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25, sparking protests worldwide.

The IOPC investigation follows a mandatory referral from Devon and Cornwall police after one of the members of the WhatsApp group reported the image to their force manager.

‘Devon and Cornwall Police has rightly promptly referred it to the IOPC,

‘Devon and Cornwall police quickly referred him to the IOPC, and I would like to assure people that we are conducting a thorough and independent investigation.

The IOPC said publication of any notices of misconduct to those also in the group will “be kept under review.”

Devon and Cornwall police said the investigated sergeant had been suspended as a provisional measure.

Deputy Police Chief Jim Nye said the matter was “quickly revealed” internally by a staff member, with a reference made to the IOPC at the “first opportunity.”

He said the force would fully cooperate with the IOPC independent investigation.

‘The Devon and Cornwall Police fully appreciate the concern that our communities will have regarding such an investigation. I assure you that I, and the Chief of Police, will do our utmost to ensure that the matter is addressed in an effective and timely manner, “said Mr. Nye.

“It would be inappropriate to make a judgment or make further comments at this stage, but it is correct that we demonstrate openness and transparency with our communities on this matter, so we will continue to work closely with the IOPC for the next few days and weeks.”

The IOPC said that a criminal investigation does not necessarily mean that criminal charges will be brought.

The delivery of notices of misconduct informs an individual that their conduct is subject to investigation and does not necessarily imply fault.

Devon Quick Facts

  • Sergeant is being investigated for gross misconduct over the offensive image 
  • Other members of group who are officers are also being investigated by IOPC 
  • Sergeant has been suspended by Devon and Cornwall Police during the probe 

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