Crime

Dallas Journalist Barrett Brown Convicted in U.K. for Holding 'KILL COPS' Banner

Barrett Brown holds the "Kill Cops" sign at a London protest against a new crime bill.
Barrett Brown holds the "Kill Cops" sign at a London protest against a new crime bill. Andy Ngo via Twitter
On Friday, nearly six months after his arrest by U.K. police, Dallas-born journalist Barrett Brown was convicted of "causing 'alarm and distress.'"

"The illicit pirate kingdom of Britain has seen fit to find me guilty of having caused 'alarm and distress' among its emotionally fragile police force," Brown told the Observer. "Rather than add to the already extensive list of documented irregularities that have accompanied this case from the beginning, I will merely point out that the English are an obnoxious and tiresome people that we should have finished off after we were done with Germany."

Brown is an award-winning journalist and media critic who’s been associated with the Anonymous hacktivist movement. In 2012, he was indicted on charges related to the hacking of intelligence firm Stratfor; that year, the FBI also raided his house, as well as his mother's. Brown was eventually sentenced to 63 months in federal prison.

Earlier this year, Brown was targeted by British authorities after he was pictured helping to hold a banner at a London protest. The two-part sign originally said “COPS KILL,” but later on, the words were rearranged to read “KILL COPS.”


Right-wing journalist Andy Ngo tweeted a photo of Brown with the banner, and the Metropolitan Police Federation shared a tweet with the picture, too.
In May, Brown was arrested on a canal boat and charged on public order and incitement offenses. After Brown made bail, he was nabbed by immigration authorities because he’d also overstayed his visa.

U.K. law enforcement argued that the “KILL COPS” banner Brown had held would virtually traumatize any officer who encountered or knew about it, Brown told the Observer this summer.

The week before his Nov. 5 trial, Brown notified his followers in a tweet that the most serious charge against him had been dropped. If convicted on the “backup charge of 'causing alarm or distress,'” he’d face a fine, he wrote.

On Thursday, Brown tweeted out the time and location of his trial.


“Long live George Washington,” he added.
On Friday, Brown wrote that the courts, with Ngo as a prosecution witness, had convicted him of "causing ‘alarm and distress’ among UK police.” When a Twitter user asked how much the fine was, he replied: "They want me to pay tax on any tea coming into Boston. J/k it's 1,200 British pounds" (about $1,600).
Around 30 minutes after he announced the conviction, Brown posted again.

“Napoleon 4ever,” he wrote.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter