Police officer to apologise to teen after viral TikTok arrest where she called her 'lesbian nana'

Police officer to apologise to teen after viral TikTok arrest where she called her 'lesbian nana'

The incident took place on August 7 last year

GB News/TikTok
Anna Riley

By Anna Riley

Published: 23/02/2024

- 18:03

The girl's mother recorded the incident and uploaded it on TikTok, with the footage going viral

A West Yorkshire Police officer who arrested a teenager for saying she looked like her "lesbian nana" has apologised to the 16-year-old and her family and is to undertake "reflective training" following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The arrest happened in the girl’s home in Leeds last year in the early hours of Monday, August 7 and went viral after her mother uploaded a TikTok video of her daughter being detained by seven officers outside the family’s house, charged with a "homophobic public order offence".

The autistic girl was seen to be highly distressed and was crying and screaming in the footage, which prompted an angry online backlash with officers accused of heavy-handedness as the girl cowered under the stairs in her own home.

A formal complaint was made by the teenager’s mother about the incident, and she said her daughter is not homophobic and in saying the female officer with short blonde hair "looked like her lesbian nana" meant that the officer looks like her nana, who is a lesbian.

Screengrabs of the incident

A police officer arrested a teenager for saying she looked like her "lesbian nana


The girl was held in custody for 20 hours and no further action was taken against her by West Yorkshire Police.

The IOPC has now completed its investigation and found the officer did not have a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct, but that she should undertake a “reflective practice – to reflect and learn from the incident to prevent any issues identified from re-occurring, as their actions fell short of the expectations of the public and the police service as set out in the Code of Ethics”.

A statement from the IOPC said the investigation was launched to determine whether the officer’s actions were appropriate and proportionate in line with approved police policies and training.

It said: “We established that officers were called to Leeds city centre to a disturbance involving the girl and officers made the decision to take her back home, rather than make an arrest.


The officer involved

The officer is now set to apologise


"Once back at the home address, the evidence suggested a potentially homophobic comment was made by the girl, which the officer believed was directed towards her.

"The evidence identified that the comment made was not as was reported on the short clip which appeared on social media.

“As a result, the officer took the decision to arrest the girl in relation to this offence. We concluded that WYP officers at the address on the whole did attempt to de-escalate the situation and the level of force used appeared to have been appropriate in the circumstances.

“However, we did find that some of the language used by one of the officers towards the girl was inappropriate and was not conducive to de-escalating the situation.”

Girl being dragged away

The girl was dragged away from her home


IOPC Regional Director Emily Barry also added that the video that was circulated at the time attracted considerable public concern and that is why it was important that the circumstances of this incident were subject to an independent investigation to understand what happened and impartially determine the facts.

She said: “Our investigation looked at the whole picture of the incident and we decided the officer should now work with their supervisor to reflect, learn and improve from what occurred, to prevent this from happening again.

“We also felt that a letter of apology should be sent to the girl and the family in attempt to remedy any dissatisfaction. The force agreed with this suggestion and have written to the family.”

The ruling comes after the same police officer surrounding the ‘lesbian nana’ arrest was last month cleared of misconduct after she was filmed shouting and deploying pepper spray whilst dealing with a crowd on during a large altercation on a Leeds estate.

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