A woman wearing a ‘F**k Boris’ t-shirt was stopped by central London police this week for apparently breaching a “harassment” act, as the video of the incident uploaded to YouTube showed.
The woman was later identified by media as British actress Jessie-Lu Flynn, who was the one to film her interaction with the officer. According to the footage, the incident took place as she was coming back from #BlackLivesMatter march in London. She was approached by police at Oxford Circus and informed that her clothing choice was against the law.
“You think it’s illegal for me to have this T-shirt on? Based on what law?”, Flynn is heard saying on the video.
In response, the police officer referred to Section 5 of the Public Order Act, arguing that it was an “offence to wear signs or a visible representation that is likely to cause harassment”.
But the actress remained reluctant to believe him: “Why would that cause harassment? To who?”
The officer insisted that it was “other people” who would apparently find her t-shirt offensive.
Flynn claimed that it was actually the policeman who was offended by her attire, while demanding to show her the law she was accused of breaking.
The officer went on to read passages from Section 5 from his phone, which indeed specified that it was illegal to display “any writing, sigh or visible representation which is threatening” or use “threatening [abusive] words or behaviour”. But the actress found that unconvincing.
“I think it’s actually invading my political right to wear whatever I want,” she concluded.
“Turns out there really are 'fashion police’”, one YouTuber commented on the video.
Many rushed to support the woman’s wordy battle with law enforcement, but suggested that the name “Boris” can really be found abusive to some, especially political opponents of the current British prime minister.
“I agree with the officer to some degree. BORIS is a very offensive word. But come on! It's not illegal to put it on a shirt”, one social media user wrote.
“Boris is the most offensive word in the English language”, another one added.
This is a simple misunderstanding folks. What her t-shirt actually said was "I'd like to f*** Boris please".— Craig Jones (@CraigJones1966) June 5, 2020
Clearly a fan. Nothing to see here.
“I've spoken to the boss he does not feel threatened and he has confirmed he is open to being f****d by anyone after a couple of brandies (don't tell his wife) with the provision that any consequential offspring are not identified to media, normal financial settlement applied [sic],” one social media user joked.