I looked a bit more into the story (saw about 7 seconds of the video), and wanted to say that this is the kind of thing that can only happen in the United Kingdom.
Some of the news stories and posts don't say why she was interacting with police to begin with, but I found:
West Yorkshire Police had brought the girl home after a relative of the girl contacted them that she was intoxicated at a nearby shopping hub, authorities said.
'Upon returning her to the address, comments were made which resulted in the girl being arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offense. The nature of the comments made was fully captured on body-worn video,” police said.'
There is a lot wrong with what happened:
1. The police officers were called to help get an autistic 16 year-old safely home. The police officers were apparently successful in their mission. Having performed the service they were asked to do without incident, they should have left peacefully.
2. The officers knew the girl was intoxicated; they were on a community-service mission as well, and they shouldn't have cared even if it was technically a hate crime.
Furthermore, it would go without saying in the United States, but police officers shouldn't be allowed to arrest people for hate speech against themselves (or other officers they're working with) while working in the line of duty for multiple reasons, in no particular order:
1. While on duty, you're not going to be as calm and rational as when off-duty, so you won't be able to make an accurate assessment of more subtle issues involving a situation. In addition, since police officers' primary duty is dealing with criminals, they are going to be more attuned to seeing crime where there is none.
2. Separation of Powers: In the U.S., there is a separation of powers. Police officers enforce the law. When the law involves something fairly abstract like a hate crime, and the perceived crime is against oneself or one's fellow officers, then when the police officer makes a decision in such an instance to arrest someone, they take on the role of judge and jury when determining if a crime has been committed.
3. Mental Health Considerations: Even if a hate crime had been committed, the citizen's mental health should have been taken into consideration when performing the arrest.
4. Class of Crime Considerations: As I would consider "hate crime" to be a new class of crime, I would argue that it requires a new class of procedures to deal with. Otherwise, you will end up with situations like this.
1. The teen shouldn't have/the family shouldn't have allowed the teen to be in a situation where she got intoxicated to the point of needing the police to come pick her up and take her home.
2. There was a lot of cussing in the few seconds of the video I watched. It was an emotional situation, and had the family been able to more calmly express themselves (I wouldn't necessarily place the expectation on them), an arrest may not have been made. Also something I find interesting is how swearing at the police doesn't result in an arrest, but a hate crime against them does. Swearing would be general, undirected animosity. This is culturally OK. But if the animosity becomes collective, such as in the form of a hate crime or collective bargaining, then it becomes inappropriate.
3. I wonder what the officers' real motives were in making the arrest. Did the teen say something in the car ride back home that made them think that they needed to teach her a lesson? Did they simply not understand autism? Did the police officers dislike the family and want to make an arrest to teach them a lesson?
4. At any rate, the teen will probably be wary of cops for a while, at least, after this. That is, if they remember anything from the encounter.
Other Info and Thoughts:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpKlvnWzvm4
Additional Info From Video: The girl was on private property, which the law allows an exemption from hate speech for.
The cops really messed this one up.