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President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House about nationwide protests against police brutality. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House about nationwide protests against police brutality. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House about nationwide protests against police brutality. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Madlin Mekelburg
By Madlin Mekelburg June 2, 2020

If Your Time is short

  • President Donald Trump spoke about an assault in Dallas during his remarks in the Rose Garden on nationwide protests. He shared a video of the incident on Twitter the day prior.
  • The video shows a man being attacked by protesters, but other footage of the incident shows that the man approached the group with a machete prior to the attack.
  • The man is in stable condition at a local hospital, according to local law enforcement.

President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to send American military troops into communities where some demonstrations against police brutality have turned violent, pointing to a case in Dallas that he shared on Twitter over the weekend. 

"But in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, or, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others," Trump said in his remarks. "A number of state and local governors have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residence. Innocent people have been savagely beaten like the young man in Dallas, Texas, who was left dying on the street."

Trump shared a tweet blaming far-left, anti-fascism activists for the assault in Dallas, which was captured on video and shared widely — including on the president’s Twitter feed.

Trump retweeted video footage of the brawl shared by Mark Kendall, the lead guitarist for a California-based heavy metal band, who offered this description of the incident: 

"This man was protecting his business and was stomped and stoned by Antifa now in critical condition." 

Trump reposted the tweet and added: "SO TERRIBLE! Where are the arrests and LONG TERM jail sentences?"

There’s a lot missing from these descriptions of the incident, and the video Trump shared does not show the events leading up to the assault. For one, there is no evidence to suggest that the attackers are affiliated with antifa or any other organization. Plus, law enforcement said the man is in stable condition.

Here’s what we know (and don’t) about this event.

Multiple videos circulating

Kendall’s tweet has since been removed, but he was not the original source of the graphic video, which was shared widely on social media as demonstrations against police brutality unfolded across the country, including in numerous Texas cities.

These protests were prompted by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after being pinned to the ground by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Floyd, a Texas native, will be buried in Houston.

The video shared by Trump was captured on Saturday night in downtown Dallas after peaceful protests in the city gave way to chaos and vandalism, according to the Dallas Morning News.

In the video, which is about 25 seconds, more than a dozen people can be seen stomping and kicking a man who is in a prone position on the street. Some people in the video can be seen throwing objects at the man.

After about 15 seconds, the crowd dissipates and the camera shows the man motionless on the ground, his body contorted and the pavement around his head dark with blood.

The video was originally posted by Elijah Schaffer, who produces videos for Blaze TV, a conservative media company founded by Glenn Beck, a political commentator.

Schaffer initially shared the 25-second version of the clip on social media but later shared a longer video showing some of the events leading up to the assault.

The longer video shows a man charging across an intersection toward the group of demonstrators wielding what appears to be a long blade. The protestors scream, and many in the crowd run away, while about a dozen overtake the man and start to beat him.

Even the longer video starts in the middle of the confrontation, so it is unclear what started the altercation.

Schaffer also shared a photo on Twitter that showed the man sitting up, being treated by what he described as "volunteer medics" after the assault.

Police are investigating

The Dallas Police Department said in a statement that the incident happened downtown near House of Blues, a live music venue in the city.

Police said the man went to the area "carrying a machete to allegedly protect his neighborhood from protesters."

"The victim confronted protesters while holding the machete and was subsequently assaulted by the protesters," the department said in a statement. "He was transported to an area hospital where he remains in stable condition."

The Dallas Police Department said this is an "ongoing investigation" and told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday that they had made no arrests.

Kendall declined to comment on the information he included in his tweet through a publicist for his band, Great White.

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Our Sources

Tweet, Donald Trump, May 31, 2020

CNN, READ: President Trump's Rose Garden speech on protests, June 1, 2020

New York Times, Trump, Lacking Clear Authority, Says U.S. Will Declare Antifa a Terrorist Group, May 31, 2020

Great White, accessed June 1, 2020

Email interview with Melinda Gutierrez, spokeswoman for the Dallas Police Department, June 1, 2020

Dallas Morning News, President Trump tweets about machete-wielding man beaten by Dallas crowd during protests, May 31, 2020

Dallas Morning News, Trump echoes heavy metal guitarist in blaming ‘Antifa’ in beating of machete-wielding Dallas man, May 31, 2020

Houston Chronicle, Mayor Sylvester Turner: George Floyd’s body returning to Houston, May 30, 2020

Tweet, Elijah Schaffer, May 30, 2020

Tweet, Elijah Schaffer, May 30, 2020

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