“Offensive” isn’t really the issue.

Met officers guilty of sharing offensive messages with Wayne Couzens

A serving Metropolitan police officer and a former officer accused of sharing racist and misogynistic messages in a WhatsApp group with Sarah Everard’s killer have been found guilty of what a judge described as “sickening” and “abhorrent” behaviour.

Those are the issue – racist and misogynist. They’re the issue because of their relevance to how the police treat people and how they investigate crimes against people.

PC Jonathon Cobban, 35, and Joel Borders, 45, had joked about beating and sexually assaulting women, raping a colleague and using Taser weapons on children, their trial had been told.

I’m sure cops need to let off steam, but doing so by expressing contempt and loathing toward women is not ideal.

The district judge, Sarah Turnock, said WhatsApp, an encrypted social media platform, had been used as a “safe space” where the guilty men believed they had “free rein” to share the grossly offensive comments.

Again – it isn’t the “offensive” part that matters, it’s the focused hatred and contempt. Lots of things are considered grossly offensive that aren’t about focused hatred of particular categories of people.

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