Bradford and Warwick Unis investigate teenagers for photo mocking George Floyd

The picture was captioned ‘police brutality’

Bradford University has launched an investigation after a photo of teenagers appearing to mock George Floyd’s death went viral on social media.

The image, captioned “police brutality”, was shared in Freshers’ Facebook groups and then on Twitter. It shows a boy with his knee on his friend’s neck while both are smiling. It is not known at this point whether the boy on the ground voluntarily took part in the photo.

The boy who took the photo is believed to be a student at Bradford University. A spokesperson has said they were investigating the matter “as a priority.”

It was speculated online either or both of the boys in the photo were prospective Warwick students, however a spokesperson has since confirmed to The Warwick Tab none of the individuals involved are connected to the University.

“We are aware of an image that is circulating on social media making unacceptable reference to recent tragic events in the US,” a spokesperson for Bradford University wrote on Twitter.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion is a core value of our university. We are taking this matter very seriously and investigating the matter as a priority.”

A Warwick University spokesperson told The Warwick Tab: “None of the individuals involved with an offensive photograph circulated yesterday are connected to the University, as was falsely alleged, nor would they be welcomed.

“Such behaviour goes against the University’s principles which emphasise treating others with respect.”

The image makes direct reference to the death of George Floyd, who died after police in Minneapolis held him in a similar position.

“My close friend who’s going to university in September was in a Warwick University Freshers’ group chat and the image was a screenshot sent in by a potential fresher at Warwick,” Elesha Foord, who shared the image on Twitter, told The Warwick Tab.

“They have changed their usernames which makes it hard for anyone to find them. Honestly, the freshers’ group chat is my friend’s however it’s a very small Snapchat one so not a page. The image was screenshot off the guy’s story.”

The Warwick Tab has approached the boys pictured for comment, as well as the person who took the photo. Should they respond, this article will be updated.

Members of the Freshers’ Facebook groups have contacted Warwick’s admissions team. One told the University: “As an existing student, I and many others do not feel comfortable about this at all, and many black students will undoubtedly be at risk of verbal or physical abuse when people like this are allowed to enter our University. I hope that you can resolve this issue.”

Bradford University has been contacted for comment.

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