JK Rowling mocks tweet about police’s LGBT+ outreach efforts near site of homophobic murder
JK Rowling mocked a tweet about a police force carrying out LGBT+ community outreach efforts near the site of a brutal homophobic murder.
South Wales Police’s LGBT+ network set up an information kiosk complete with rainbow police cards in Cardiff city centre on Friday (18 March) to showcase their specialist work tackling anti-LGBT+ hate crime and promotion inclusion and diversity.
The community outreach efforts were taking place near Bute Park where just last year bisexual doctor Gary Jenkins was brutally beaten, robbed and killed in a homophobic attack.
We are in #CardiffCityCentre today promoting the work of our network with officers from @GPCaerphilly ??♂️@gwentpolice @CCJeremyVaughan @swpolice @SWPCardiff @MarysCardiff @pulsecardiff @GoldenCrossCDF @eaglecardiff @kingscardiff @SuptJasonRees pic.twitter.com/0aamqigQBI
— SWP LGBT+ Network (@swplgbt) March 18, 2022
CO376 & CO402 were grateful to be able to attend Cardiff City Centre today alongside SWP CSO’s, spending time engaging with our LGBTQ+ communities with a focus on Recruitment and Hate Crime???️??️⚧️ @lgbtpolicewales @swplgbt @gwentpolice @swpolice pic.twitter.com/T2vX35dARH— Gwent Police | Caerphilly Borough Officers (@GPCaerphilly) March 18, 2022
Comments from anti-LGBT+ trolls soon began to roll in, with Twitter users accusing South Wales Police of “virtue signalling” and wasting cars that should be on patrol.
The police force responded: “Supporting our communities is not virtual [sic] signalling and we make no apologies for doing so.”
The simple typo induced even more ridicule, including from JK Rowling.
Apparently mocking South Wales Police’s outreach as insincere, on Monday (21 March) she tweeted: “Virtual signalling. Like virtue signalling, but for people who couldn’t be arsed.”
Many were quick to condemn Rowling’s tweet, suggesting that mocking a police force carrying out vital LGBT+ outreach near the site of a homophobic murder was inappropriate.
The "virtue signalling" JK Rowling is laughing about is South Wales Police LGBT+ Network doing community outreach work 10 minutes walk from Bute Park where Dr Gary Jenkins was brutally murdered in a horrific homophobic attack in July 2021. pic.twitter.com/RigRWjXHys— David Paisley (@DavidPaisley) March 21, 2022
Repulsive, ignorant comment.
Here we see JK Rowling here attacking South Wales Police LGBT+ Network for community outreach work next to Bute Park – where Dr Gary Jenkins was murdered in a shocking homophobic attack.
Does the safety of LGBT people not matter to you at all?— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) March 21, 2022
Even by JK Rowling’s standards, this is ghastly.
She’s responding to a tweet by police doing community work after a gay man was murdered. https://t.co/gH2ErFObOg— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) March 21, 2022
This is what trans people talk about when we discuss the harm Rowling continually platforms, supporters, and gives her sense of validity too. She may do charity work for kids, cool, but she is also an active force for hate.— Jessie Earl (@jessiegender) March 21, 2022
Three people were convicted of murdering Jenkins, who was attacked in the early hours of 20 July 2021. He was beaten so badly that he suffered a brain injury and died 16 days later.
Luke Young, head of policy and campaigns for Citizens Advice Cymru, pointed out that the outreach was specifically requested by the local LGBT+ community at a vigil after Jenkins’ death.
“At Dr Gary Jenkins’ vigil we called for the police to be visible allies, to work with the local community and to protect all identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella,” he tweeted.
“Keep going South Wales Police. Once again, JK Rowling doesn’t speak for us.”
At Dr Gary Jenkins’ vigil we called for the police to be visible allies, to work with the local community, and to protect all identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
Keep going @swpolice.
Once again, JK Rowling doesn’t speak for us https://t.co/MBH42PfwoU— Luke Young (@LukeYoung) March 21, 2022
A spokesperson for South Wales Police told PinkNews: “South Wales Police is proud to serve all communities that it serves.
“On 18 March 2022, officers attended Cardiff city centre as part of an engagement initiative to encourage reporting of hate crime.
“The lights on the car are for display purposes only and were used as part of the engagement event. The car is not a marked response vehicle and has no lights or sirens for this purpose.”
JK Rowling declined to comment.
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