Stevens – a member of the Conservative (Tory) Party –serves as a councilor on the Wellingborough Town Council in the English county of Northamptonshire. The 50-year-old said he was questioned by officers at the local police station over allegations of hate crimes. They showed him three social media posts published on his Twitter account.
Stevens, who had 76 followers on his account, retweeted a post that compared the very different treatment of two religious preachers.
The post featured a video of an unnamed Muslim preacher who was allowed to walk free even though he was shouting expletives and showing aggressive behavior in a confrontation with officers. Meanwhile, Christian street preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi was arrested by police in Southgate, London, in 2019 for suspected Islamophobia. He was later awarded £2,500 ($3,122) for the wrongful arrest.
In another supposedly criminal act, Stevens retweeted a petition calling for the reinstatement of fellow local councilor King Lawal – also a Tory. He was suspended from his local party branch for describing LGBTQIA+ Pride events as "not a virtue but a sin." In his post, Stevens included a caption inviting those who value free speech to "please sign and share."
The police also questioned Stevens about his post of a video showing a man burning a copy of the Quran. The councilor claims that the post is aligned with his view that such an act remains a citizen's right "in a free society."
Stevens believes that a local member of the opposition Labour Party reported his posts to the police. He is currently out on bail as authorities conduct further investigations. (Related: Merritt Medical Hour: Dr. Carrie Madej urges Americans to TAKE A STAND and uphold their RIGHTS – Brighteon.TV.)
In an interview, Stevens said it is "appalling and bizarre to be brutally arrested for sharing a petition in defending the right to free speech of a fellow councilor." He said the accusation of racial hatred is "ridiculous and insulting," and that his only crime has been "supporting the only Black local councilor in Northamptonshire."
Stevens clarified that defending free speech is different from "agreeing with what has been said, or admiring who is saying this." He maintains that, in a truly democratic society, citizens should not be arrested for what they post online and people must be able to debate and have the freedom to criticize and offend each other. Otherwise, "this country is going to swiftly go to pot," said Stevens.
In an interview, Stevens revealed that the police approached his home, which he shares with his wife and three daughters. The police physically searched him in front of his wife and 12-year-old daughter, making the latter cry. They also confiscated his phone and wallet.
Stevens was then told that they would escort him off the premises. They also took his mugshot, DNA and fingerprints. Two detective constables took him to an interview room after a few hours in a cell and said he was being accused of posting "racially aggravated material."
Northamptonshire Police confirmed that the police "received a report of a hate crime regarding posts made on social media" on Aug. 2. According to a spokesperson, this led to the arrest of a 50-year-old man "on the morning of Aug. 7 on suspicion of distributing written material to stir up racial hatred. He has been released on bail pending further inquiries."
Visit SpeechPolice.news for more reports on attempts to criminalize free speech.
Watch Tucker Carlson outlining another example of an attack on free speech in the video below.
This video is from the Son of the Republic channel on Brighteon.com.