Three teenagers have been arrested and their families put under police protection after they received death threats  following a video they posted on snapchat mocking the death of George Floyd, a black American who was murdered in a police brutality crime.

The trio, between the ages of 18 and 19 had their photo in which they mimicked the death of George Floyd, knee to the neck and held down by two officers gone viral. The police are holding them in custody on the suspicion of committing hate crimes.

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Police quickly identified them after the video and photos went viral. The police deleted their social media profiles immediately. Their families started receiving death threats which prompted police protection for them.

A source who goes to school with the teenagers said:

“It’s all blown up in their faces and they’ve received death threats.

“They were arrested on Sunday night and have had their phones taken off them and everything.

“It’s turned into a witch-hunt and they’ve had some really nasty threats – some of which have been targeted at their families which isn’t right at all.”

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman who confirmed the incident said:

“We can confirm we are investigating after an image was shared on social media which showed two men imitating the recent death of US citizen George Floyd.

“An investigation was launched and yesterday (Sunday) officers arrested two males aged 19 and another male aged 18 on suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress.

“They have since been released on bail. We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.”

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