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Emily Venezky
By Emily Venezky June 5, 2020

No evidence this man died at hands of an ‘antifa murderer’

If Your Time is short

  • There was a violent attack at a protest in Portland.
     
  • Videos show two men attacking a man before fleeing, leaving the man face-down in the street.
     
  • Portland police arrested one suspect and confirmed that the victim is alive.
     
  • Police say they have no evidence of antifa involvement.

Amid many peaceful Black Lives Matter protests, there have been instances of violence that resulted in death.

One alarming social media post claims that one of those deaths was the result of an attack by an "antifa murderer."

The June 3 Facebook post includes many pictures of a young man in a black shirt and a white mask at a protest. In one picture it appears he is kicking someone who is face-down on the ground wearing a blue shirt and light blue jeans. "This man who was kicked and stomped has died," the post claims. "The antifa murderer is in the white mask." It then calls for anyone who recognizes the man to call the police or the FBI.

This post was flagged by Facebook as part of efforts to combat false news and information on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

This attack did happen, and the victim was seriously injured. But police confirmed that he survived, and said they had arrested a teenage suspect. There is no evidence that the person attacking him is part of antifa, a loosely organized left-wing movement that at times uses violence.

What the videos show

This attack happened on May 30 in Portland, Ore., at the intersection of SW 4th Street and SW Salmon Street, where journalists photographed protests against police brutality around 8 p.m.

Based on a review of images and videos tweeted and shared by journalists, it appears that the victim seen lying on the ground in these photos was involved in a skirmish immediately prior to what we see in this Facebook post. And videos also show that after these pictures were taken, he was able to stand and speak to others who came to his aid.

In a video posted by a journalist from the Oregonian newspaper, a large crowd is seen attacking a man with a flag. Twenty-eight seconds in, we see the man in the blue shirt and light blue jeans run into the melee and become involved in the conflict with his arms swinging. In a separate video of the same incident captured by another Oregonian journalist from a different angle, it looks like the man is punching and pushing someone before exiting the crowd again.

As the man walks from the scene, according to a third video tweeted by conservative journalist Andy Ngo, two men start chasing him. One pushes him, and the man in blue collapses face-down. Then another man, wearing a black T-shirt, kicks him in the head before fleeing. "He’s dead," we hear someone yell.

But as the video continues, we see others come to the man’s aid, treating his wounds, helping him off the ground and talking to him.

Ngo, of conservative Canadian website The Post Millennial, on May 31 posted a compilation of pictures similar to those seen in the Facebook post and identified the attackers as "antifa."

On June 4, Portland police announced that with "the public's help, the suspect who was kicking the victim in the head was identified and detectives were notified." The 14-year-old suspect was charged with felony assault and taken to a juvenile detention center, while the investigation continues.

Portland police said in their statement that "the male victim sustained serious injuries but is not deceased." Sgt. Michael Roberts told PolitiFact that the police currently have no evidence of antifa being involved in this incident.

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed that an "antifa murderer" had killed a man that "was kicked and stomped" at a protest.

There is no evidence that the attackers are part of the antifa movement. The attack took place where many were peacefully protesting the Minneapolis police’s treatment of George Floyd. 

According to videos of the attack from journalists at the protest, the man in the blue shirt got up after the attack and was walking around and talking. Portland police also confirmed in a press release that the victim isn’t dead. We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

Forbes, At Least 12 Have Died In Nationwide Protests. Here’s Who They Were., June 3, 2020

Facebook post, June 3, 2020

New York Times, What Is Antifa, the Movement Trump Wants to Declare a Terror Group?, May 31, 2020

PolitiFact, Trump wants to designate antifa as a terrorist organization, but lacks legal authority for it, June 1, 2020

Tweet, May 30, 2020

Tweet, May 31, 2020

The Post Millennial, Andy Ngo,  accessed on June 4, 2020

Tweet, May 31, 2020

Tweet, May 30, 2020

Tweet, May 30, 2020

Tweet, May 30, 2020

Portland Police Bureau, Juvenile Suspect Detained for Assault during Saturday's Demonstrations, June 4, 2020

Email interview with Sergeant Michael Roberts from the Portland Police Bureau, June 3, 2020

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No evidence this man died at hands of an ‘antifa murderer’

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