A Scottish man was reportedly arrested after he uploaded a video in which he taught a dog to react excitedly to anti-Semitic language.
Markus Meechan of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, reportedly wanted to annoy his girlfriend by playing a prank with her pet pug, Buddha. However, the video he posted of this prank on his YouTube account, Count Dankula, led police to arrest the 28-year-old on suspicion of a hate crime.
"My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute her dog is so I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing you could think of which is a Nazi," Meechan says in the video, which was posted on April 11 and has since gone viral.
Throughout the footage, the dog responds in an excited way after hearing anti-Semitic phrases, such as "Gas the Jews." Meechan also filmed the dog watching speeches given by Hitler and taught him to lift his paw in response to "Sieg Heil."
Police said Meechan’s arrest should serve as a warning to others that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Scotland.
"I would ask anyone who has had the misfortune to have viewed it to think about the pain and hurt the narrative has caused a minority of people in our community," Detective Inspector David Cockburn said. "The clip is deeply offensive and no reasonable person can possibly find the content acceptable in today's society."
Meechan tried to apologize to the Jewish community in April.
"Honestly, I don’t hate anyone, the whole purpose of this was just to annoy my girlfriend," Meechan said, according to the Daily Mail. "I am so sorry to the Jewish community for any [offense] I have caused them. This was never my intention and I [apologize]."
However, many believe the video is indicative of a deeper problem.
"Mocking the death of over six million Jews - about a third of the entire Jewish people - demonstrates the dangers of ignoring antisemitism, denigrating the Holocaust through false comparisons and failing to educate the next generation," Jonathan Sacerdoti, Director of Communications at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said.
"Anti-Semitism is not something that can in any degree be regarded as a joke," a spokesperson for the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said, the International Business Times reports.
"It is a form of racism that needs to be condemned just as we would any other form of racism."