A British man was arrested by police for wearing a pig mask to protest the behavior of law enforcement officials.
According to The Free Thought Project, Steven Peers, a 46-year-old father of four, was arrested last week in Manchester for impersonating a police officer. He was not trying to commit any crime, but was wearing the mask, a police hat and jacket in order to raise awareness about police corruption and misconduct.
The pig mask that he was donning made it obvious that the whole thing was a joke, but police found nothing funny about the incident.
A police department spokesman issued a statement, saying: “At about 4pm on Thursday 22 May 2014, a man was arrested in Manchester city centre on suspicion of impersonating a police officer. He was released on bail until 17 July 2014 pending further inquiries.”
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The arrest has sparked an online backlash, and Peers says that the charges are unlikely to hold up in court.
"My reaction to being arrested was total disbelief. I was wearing a toy hat and a pig mask and was arrested for impersonating a police officer. It's ridiculous," Peers told the Manchester Evening News. "If they want to take it to court they will be a laughingstock because there is no substance to it whatsoever. I don’t think it’s antagonistic. It’s just a parody making fun of GMP. I’ve dressed like this at Barton Moss, in front of Swinton police station and in front of the force HQ in Newton Heath. Other officers have laughed it off.”
Peers, an electrical engineer, accused an officer in February of arresting him on a trumped up charge because he refused to take a breath test.
The case against Peers was dismissed in court when prosecutors offered no evidence and the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the arrest.