British police went to the home of a 70-year-old grandmother and interrogated her because they saw a knitted gorilla in her window and deemed it a “potentially racially offensive object.”
“Two police officers, a man and a woman, knocked on the door at about 7.30pm,” Anne Feast said, according to an article in the Daily Mail. “They told me they needed to speak to me about the ‘black body’ hanging in my window. I said ‘Pardon? Do you mean the baby gorilla?’”
Feast said she explained to the officers that she loved to knit and loved even more to display the toys she had knitted in her window for the amusement of neighborhood children.
According to Feast, officers said that — gorilla or not! — she still had to take down the toy because it had offended someone. But she refused, and a police department spokesman later said that there had not actually been a complaint at all:
“The police did not receive any calls from members of the public about this,” a spokesman for Cambridge Police said.
“Instead, while out on patrol, two PCSOs saw an object hanging from a window which they thought might be seen as a potentially racially offensive object.”
Before this admission, Feast had posted a note on her door inviting whoever had complained to speak to her directly:
“Are you the person/persons that made a complaint to police about the knitted toy? Well why don’t you knock on our door and tell us face-to-face what your concerns were about this toy? These toys usually bring a smile to most people’s faces — especially kiddies,” it read.
Cambridge Police deny that the officers ever asked Feast to remove the toy from the window.
“After establishing that the object was, in fact, a handmade knitted gorilla and nothing offensive the officers left and carried on their patrols,” the spokesman said.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.