A video circulating online shows U.K. police arresting a teenage girl for a “homophobic remark” after she said a police officer looked like a lesbian.
The video, uploaded to TikTok by the minor’s mother, shows the girl being detained by seven officers outside her home in Leeds on Aug. 7.
According to BBC, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed that the 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offence but said the video footage “only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident.”
The video shows officers in the hallway of the family’s home, while the girl sits in a nearby closet. The mother is heard saying: “It’s not a homophobic remark. She said, ‘I think she’s a lesbian, like nana.’”
In the video, the mother also says: “You’re going to remove her for what? You’re bothered that she said the word lesbian? Her nana is a lesbian, she’s married to a woman. She’s not homophobic.”
The mother also tells the police officers that her daughter has autism.
A police statement said the teenager appeared to be intoxicated and was “putting herself at risk.” The statement did acknowledge, however, that she was arrested “on suspicion of a homophobic public order offense,” according to the Daily Wire.
The Crown Prosecution Service, the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, released a public statement on prosecuting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime in March.
That statement explains that the Crown Prosecution Service has agreed with police on a shared definition of a homophobic hate crime: “Any incident/crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person because of their sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity by the victim or any other person.” The definition is “wider than the legal definition of a hate crime within the SA 2020 to ensure we capture all relevant cases.”