A police officer who admitted sharing racist memes mocking the death of George Floyd has been told he could face jail.
James Watts, 31, a former prison officer, sent 10 messages to a WhatsApp group around the time of Mr Floyd’s killing by a police officer in Minneapolis in 2020.
Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for nine and a half minutes, was later convicted of his murder.
Watts, then a PC with the West Mercia force, was called out for his actions on Twitter by Parvinder Balou, one of five members of the WhatsApp group, who told social media the messages had been shared by a serving police officer.
A 31-year-old police officer James Watts, pictured, sent 10 messages to a WhatsApp group around the time of Mr Floyd’s killing by a police officer in Minneapolis in 2020
His co-accused PC Joann Jinks, 40, who remains a serving officer, was charged with sharing three of the 10 images
They included depictions of a kneeling matt emblazoned with George Floyd’s face, the claim that someone had bought a George Floyd t-shirt that was so tight around the neck that they could not breathe.
Other images showed a white dog wearing Ku Klux Klan clothing and a black dog with a noose around its neck.
Another image, based on the Jaws film where the character says, ‘We’ll need a bigger boat’, showed a man with an abnormally large neck and the punchline, ‘We’ll need a bigger knee.’
Other images mocked the size of black men’s genitalia.
Watts resigned from the force when the investigation began.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Tanweer Ikram told him: ‘I cannot rule out jail in this case and I cannot ignore the reputational harm caused to the police by cases such as this.’
Peter Arnold, representing Watts, said his client had not thought anyone in the WhatsApp group, which contained current and former prison officers from Rye Hill jail, would be offended.
‘He admitted everything,’ said Mr Arnold, ‘and would like to be dealt with as soon as possible.’
Watts will be sentenced on June 14.
His co-accused PC Joann Jinks, 40, who remains a serving officer, was charged with sharing three of the 10 images.
She pleaded not guilty and her case will be heard at Westminster Magistrates Court on 23 August.