Minneapolis has erupted in protests and riots since George Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest on May 25. The incident was captured on cellphone video that showed Floyd repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” The four involved officers were fired the following day, and Derek Chauvin, the officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck, was charged on May 29 with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd’s death touched off nationwide protests with calls for an end to police brutality, Fact Checker reports.
Some social media posts have responded to this unfolding story, though, by pushing misinformation and conspiracy theories.
These are some of the bogus claims Fact Check has debunked so far:
– Politically charged social media posts wrongly identified Chauvin as being in two photos, one showing a man wearing a red hat emblazoned with the words “Make Whites Great
Again,” and another showing a man at a rally for President Donald Trump. Neither picture actually showed Chauvin. See “Viral Photos Don’t Show Minneapolis Officer in Floyd Case” for more.
– Social media posts incorrectly claimed that Minneapolis police license plates “don’t say POLICE,” so the presence of a police vehicle bearing such a plate in the video proved Floyd’s death was a planned event. But many police vehicles in Minneapolis have that license plate. See “Minneapolis Police License Plate Doesn’t Raise a ‘False Flag” for more.
– Lengthy text posts claimed that Floyd’s arrest and death in Minneapolis were “staged” to incite “racial tensions.” But they offer no evidence to support that conspiracy theory. See “Baseless Conspiracy Theory Claims Floyd Case Was ‘Staged” for more.