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  #1    
Old October 12th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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So a week or two back in Greater Manchester, two police officers were called out by a fraudulent 999 call and shot dead. Following this horrific incident, on the same day, one Barry Thew was sentenced to eight months in jail for wearing a t-shirt on which was written "One less pig; perfect justice" as well as "Killacopforfun.com ha ha". Here's what it said in the newspaper since I don't have an online source right now:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Newspaper
His sentence was welcomed by police - but civil liberties campaigners said that, although Thew might have been unpleasant, he was treated harshly.

Human rights officer Peter Tachell told Metro: 'Causing offence is not a legitimate reason to jail anyone. The price of free speech is that we some-times have to put up with views we find offensive.'

[...] He was jailed for four months for a public order offence; another four months was added because he breached a previous suspended sentence.

Judge Peter Lakin told Thew, who has dozens of previous convictions: 'Your mindless behaviour has added to the pain of everyone touched by the death of these young officers.'

[...] Nick Pickels, from Big Brother Watch, said: 'The idea you should spend several months in prison for writing something on a T-shirt - when shoplifters, burglars and other offenders serve far less - is absurd."
So, PC, what do you make of this? Is his sentence fair or is it a horrible violation of free speech? This is a sort of news-debate thing so I'll change the prefix if appropriate later.

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  #2    
Old October 12th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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Might have been a bit harsh of a sentence, but I actually don't care. The guy is an idiot and was asking for it.

There is a difference between free speech and just abuse. It is down the same road as being racist, but then claiming free speech to say it.

He deserves it and, in my mine, that is the end of it.
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  #3    
Old October 12th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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I imagine the guy had this shirt for a while before the police officers were killed. If what he did was so bad (wearing this shirt) then why wasn't he arrested for it before? And why was anyone allowed to sell this shirt?

I would get it if this guy went to a funeral dressed like that. But if he was just out on the street wherever then he's just a crass idiot. That's not exactly worth putting him in jail.
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  #4    
Old October 12th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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I'll contribute more when I'm not on my phone (and sober lol) but to clear up any confusion - the shirt was plain and the words were handwritten, not printed, so the shirt wasn't sold in that state.
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  #5    
Old October 12th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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There's something about a "suspended sentence" there, which means he violated a law that WASN'T free speech. He definitely should go to jail for at least that, but his stance toward cops is pretty frightening. What if he was drunk and got into a fight with someone just because they were a cop? I think a short sentence like this should be a punishment for his despicable attitude before he actually does something completely unlawful. But at the same time... I am not sure whether or not this excuse is justifiable. He should appeal if possible and could be out after the four months he deserves.

Also, of note: I now know the answer to a question I asked a long time ago when I was in London: "What's the number for 911 in England?" It's 999.
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  #6    
Old October 12th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Absolute bullcrap, words are never enough to deserve jail. Especially ones that aren't even uttered, you might as well arrest someone for writing a book with an anti-police sentiment.
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  #7    
Old October 12th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Well tbh he shouldn't have done that, but a reprimand should have sufficed, rather than a whole sentence.
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  #8    
Old October 12th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Let him wear whatever kind of shirt he wants. 4 months? Dang, butthurt cops.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 08:44 PM
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Taking it that he didn't kill the cops, he should just be called a drunk bastard and sent home, not sent to jail for eight months. However, those suspended sentences meant that he deserved at least some jail time, I'm not sure how much without more knowledge...
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Last edited by shenanigans; October 13th, 2012 at 06:50 AM.
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  #10    
Old October 12th, 2012, 09:01 PM
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I think the guy deserved it, he's probably involved with petty crimes around his city anyway which is easily identifiable by the handwritten slurs on his shirt.
And by wearing the shirt in public, he was definitely asking for it.

Although yes the sentence was maybe a little heavy but some time was absolutely called for.
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  #11    
Old October 12th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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I think he had it coming wearing a shirt like that. Free speech is fine, but disrespectful shirts, especially against law enforcement, just isn't right. Wrong to arrest him for it, but wrong of him to wear such a blatantly disrespectful (and could be taken as threatening) shirt. It's lose-lose in this, really.
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  #12    
Old October 13th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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Free speech, and the cops are overreacting.

He didn't know about the cops being killed, so this wasn't done to rub in the pain for their deaths. This is just a person speaking his mind about what he thinks of the police.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the cops and what they are focusing on. Two of their own were just murdered, and the rest of them are more worried about a shirt?

Talk about misplaced priorities.

Edit - Clarify. I'm usually for stuff like this, but only when its intentional. His shirt was saying what he thought about police, and wasn't a direct responce to the two police being killed. You know how I know this wasn't intentional? Says one less, not two less, meaning that this shirt was modified in the past and not made as a response to the deaths. And even then, the message could easily mean that the policeman lost his job, ruining his life, which is perfect justice as the cop ruins other peoples lives.
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Last edited by Mr. X; October 13th, 2012 at 04:00 AM.
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  #13    
Old October 13th, 2012, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X View Post
Free speech, and the cops are overreacting.

He didn't know about the cops being killed, so this wasn't done to rub in the pain for their deaths. This is just a person speaking his mind about what he thinks of the police.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the cops and what they are focusing on. Two of their own were just murdered, and the rest of them are more worried about a shirt?

Talk about misplaced priorities.

Edit - Clarify. I'm usually for stuff like this, but only when its intentional. His shirt was saying what he thought about police, and wasn't a direct responce to the two police being killed. You know how I know this wasn't intentional? Says one less, not two less, meaning that this shirt was modified in the past and not made as a response to the deaths. And even then, the message could easily mean that the policeman lost his job, ruining his life,
Considering the shooting was big news in the UK I'd say he knew exactly what he was doing.

If anyone had been shot some someone wore a 'one less ____ in the world' casually around town I know I'd be pretty angry - though it's hard to tell from the OP where/when he was arrested.

Quote:
...which is perfect justice as the cop ruins other peoples lives.
And that's just hilarious.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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The guy was intentionally taking a dig at the people tasked with keeping order and safety in his home and was abusing his right to free speech. There is no excuse for that, BUT, the sentencing given was ridiculous especially as (as far as I can tell) there actually wasn't a crime committed. They can't even prove he new about the deaths...
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X View Post
Free speech, and the cops are overreacting.

He didn't know about the cops being killed, so this wasn't done to rub in the pain for their deaths. This is just a person speaking his mind about what he thinks of the police.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the cops and what they are focusing on. Two of their own were just murdered, and the rest of them are more worried about a shirt?

Talk about misplaced priorities.

Edit - Clarify. I'm usually for stuff like this, but only when its intentional. His shirt was saying what he thought about police, and wasn't a direct responce to the two police being killed. You know how I know this wasn't intentional? Says one less, not two less, meaning that this shirt was modified in the past and not made as a response to the deaths. And even then, the message could easily mean that the policeman lost his job, ruining his life, which is perfect justice as the cop ruins other peoples lives.
This^

They should have just left him alone. Yeah, its sad when a policeman dies but he didnt do anything wrong except voice his opinion. It didnt sound to me like he was causing public disorder and thats what hes supposed to be serving time for.
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  #16    
Old October 13th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Maybe jail time isn't the best solution, maybe a fine or something. Either way, it's hate crime.
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  #17    
Old October 13th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Maybe jail time isn't the best solution, maybe a fine or something. Either way, it's hate crime.
How is it a hate crime to wear an anti-police t shirt?
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Old October 13th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
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How is it a hate crime to wear an anti-police t shirt?
Meant hate speech. (tired, my bad.)


Same reason it's hate speech to wear an "I hate Jews" shirt, or an "I hate blacks" shirt. It's a bias based form of hate speech against a certain group, affliation, or class. In this case law enforcement personnel, it's also a government funded service, one could consider any further action from this idiot as making terroristic threats.

There are also a list of illegal shirt slogans.

Guy should've been given a fine, maybe community service cleaning squads.
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  #19    
Old October 13th, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomX0990 View Post
Meant hate speech. (tired, my bad.)


Same reason it's hate speech to wear an "I hate Jews" shirt, or an "I hate blacks" shirt. It's a bias based form of hate speech against a certain group, affliation, or class. In this case law enforcement personnel, it's also a government funded service, one could consider any further action from this idiot as making terroristic threats.

There are also a list of illegal shirt slogans.

Guy should've been given a fine, maybe community service cleaning squads.
Oh. I think hate speech should be allowed on T-shirts. Its ridiculous to have illegal t-shirts.
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  #20    
Old October 13th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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What I find strange, is that for all the people saying that the US is slowly taking away our free speech rights, the US has been more supportive of free speech on shirts then the UK.

However, the majority of the cases in the UK are political in nature, while the other is anti-religious. So far, this type of shirt has yet to be tried.
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