© AFP Photo / Scott Olson
A Florida police officer who was protesting US President Obama's newly implemented healthcare law has been arrested because he refused to take off a Guy Fawkes mask he was wearing at a demonstration.
Ericson Harrell, 39, was wearing a mask, a black cape, and holding an inverted American flag when police approached him in Plantation, Florida. Harrell told officers he was "protesting Obamacare
" but the police report notes "he refused each time" when he "was asked several times to remove his mask and produce some form of identification or tell us his name" and taken into custody.
The mask is the same one popularized in the film V for Vendetta
and then by the activist hacking collective known as Anonymous.
The police report does not mention whether other protesters were at the scene or if Harrell was holding his own individual rally. It does say Harrell was not willing to tell police who he was, "stating his anonymity was his cause, thus the mask...He stated the mask was used by movement groups around the world for protests."
He only told responding officers "I'm a cop, I'm a cop" and was apprehended when one policeman found a .40 caliber pistol in his waistband.
Harrell, who was charged with obstruction of justice and with wearing a hood or mask on the street, was given a notice to appear in court and not jailed.