Ben and Jordan, a gay couple from England, are afraid for their lives after members of the vigilante group Yorkshire Child Protectors dragged them out of their car after being falsely accused of child molestation, according to Daily Mail.
I’m not sure of the way that the group gathered this false information because the group has since deleted their page, but the couple was horrified after they were pulled over by the vigilantes who dragged them out of their car and arrested them, all while live-streaming the event for over 30,000 people on social media. During the arrest, ten members of Yorkshire Child Protectors hurled homophobic slurs at Ben and Jordan, who are too afraid to reveal their last names after this incident. The group has apologized for this mistake but the damage has already been done and the 30,000 people who viewed the arrest will never apologize, a fact that leaves Ben disgusted and scared. This is why it’s so crucial to gather all information and verify that it’s true before taking any actions because the consequences of these actions can and most likely will be extremely harmful.
So what was the information that they gathered?
The group had been given false information stating that Ben and Jordan were offering to teach a child how to masturbate. After gathering that information, they even intimidated Jordan’s sister at her house by making her believe that a low-resolution image was her brother. The group told Jordan’s sister to get him to visit her at her address, and when he and Ben arrived, the vigilante group separated the couple while they waited for the police to arrive. They also took the two men’s phones, which is when the operation began to crumble.
The group had previously set up a decoy phone to track down their actual suspect so while the police were going through Ben and Jordan’s phones, the decoy phone was still receiving messages from the person they were trying to capture. This left the couple understandably shaken and upset, and Ben commented that he understands the purpose of Yorkshire Child Protectors, but such work should be left to the people who were trained to deal with this sort of thing. I agree, this group seems to be noble in intent but quick to jump to conclusions without gathering the necessary information. The fact that they used intimidation techniques on one of the victims’ sister is morally reprehensible and should not be ignored.
As I mentioned above, the group did apologize to Ben and Jordan but didn’t take full responsibility. The group said “We at YCP take responsibility for our part played in these innocent men being arrested but we won’t be taking all the blame” but also mentioned that they had no reason to believe the information that they gathered was incorrect. So now they have a half-apology and a potential child molester who is still out there because Yorkshire Child Protectors gathered the wrong information.
To reiterate what Ben said, it’s important to protect children from child molesters, but arresting them should be done by trained professionals because if not, traumatic things like this happen. I hope that Ben and Jordan recover from this and that they get to live their lives normally because it’s already hard enough to dismantle the stereotype that gay people are predators. The couple didn’t deserve to have their reputation tarnished and their arrest live-streamed for tens of thousands of people.
Source: Daily Mail