A man was arrested and spent a night in jail after he recorded a video of a dog doing the “Sieg Heil!” Nazi party salute and posted it online.
But 28-year-old Markus Meechan is defending his video as a simple prank which got out of hand.
Uploaded to his YouTube channel on April 11, the video titled “M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi” starts with Meechan speaking to the camera about the joke he’s about to pull.
“My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute her dog is so I thought I would turn her into the least cute thing you could think of…which is a Nazi.”
The video then cuts to a “training” montage featuring Meechan shouting “gas the Jews!” at his girlfriend’s pug Buddha, setting him up to watch speeches of Adolf Hitler, and ending with Buddha doing the signature raised-arm “Sieg Heil!” Nazi party salute.
The video has exploded in popularity since it was posted, acquiring over 1.6 million views on Youtube.
Unfortunately for Meechan, it also caught the attention of Scottish police.
“The clip is deeply offensive and no reasonable person can possibly find the content acceptable in today’s society,” Police Scotland Detective Inspector David Cockburn told UK newspaper The Telegraph. “(It) has been shared and viewed online, which ultimately has caused offence and hurt to many people in our community.”
On April 28, police arrested Meechan at his home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland on suspicion of a hate crime.
He spent the night in jail before being released on bail from Airdrie Sheriff Court the next morning.
“There is no place for hate crime in Scotland and police take all reports of incidents seriously,” Inspector Cockburn said.
“This arrest should serve as a warning to anyone posting such material online, or in any other capacity, that such views will not be tolerated.”
In a follow up video posted to his YouTube page, Meechan apologized to those who he may have offended with his video and insisted it was a harmless prank.