A TikTok prankster has elicited widespread outrage over his recent videos, but only since he started targeting people other than Jews.
Earlier this year, we reported that the TikTok user, known online as Mizzy, was arrested for “assaulting a member of the Jewish community.”
Mizzy, whose real name is Bacari Ogarro, appeared to confirm on his Instagram account that he had been arrested by posting an image of the police statement, adding that he had been held for 36 hours by police for a video involving an identifiably Jewish boy last year.
Another video appeared to show him wearing a traditional Orthodox Jewish hat whilst performing a crass imitation, while yet another video featured him entering the home of visibly Jewish people without their knowledge.
According to the police statement at the time, the arrest was “a result of the Shomrim notifying police and sharing footage of the assault which has been circulated on social media.”
Stamford Hill Shomrim is a Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, with which Campaign Against Antisemitism works closely and with which we have an information sharing agreement.
According to new reports, Mr Ogarro has once again been arrested, this time after another video in which he enters a different family’s home went viral.
However, despite the similarities between the two videos of Mr Ograrro entering family homes, the principal difference being that the older video feature duh home of religious Jews, it appears that only now how news outlets and even Members of Parliament covered the story and spoken up, with one describing the videos as “abhorrent”.
Bafflingly, The Independent has released an exclusive interview with the prankster, in which it provided him with a platform to defend himself against the criticism. Mr Ogarro said: “I’m a Black male doing these things and that’s why there’s such an uproar on the internet.” Otherwise, he seemed satisfied that his inane and awful videos were receiving attention. The article does not include any statement from Jewish community groups.
Late last night, the Metropolitan Police released a statement in which it said: “An eighteen-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and is currently in police custody.”
Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway of the Central East Command Unit, responsible for policing in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “I do not underestimate the widespread upset, distress and concern that these videos caused. Some people have referred to these as ‘prank’ videos, but I hope that this significant development demonstrates just how seriously we have been taking this investigation since this footage began circulating online.
“A number of these videos were produced, impacting on many different people and our investigation remains ongoing as we seek to build a strong picture of both the activity featured in the footage and impact on the public.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “There may be no better use of the phrase ‘Jews Don’t Count’ than a TikTok prankster being publically chastised for carrying out dangerous stunts only a few months after testing them out on Jews first. The prankster known as Mizzy cut his teeth on putting Jews in harm’s way, when he knew no one would care, and while we welcome his re-arrest after his reckless and threatening videos, where was the outrage when his targets were just Jews?”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over five hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than five times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2021 showed that over two thirds of British Jews believe that the authorities, in general, are not doing enough to address and punish antisemitism.