Facts are under assault in 2020.
We can't fight back misinformation about the election and COVID-19 without you. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
George Floyd was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery in 2007.
The woman robbed, Aracely Henriquez, was injured by another man, and there’s no evidence she was pregnant at the time of the incident.
Despite captions stating otherwise, a photo going around social media of a woman with bruises on her face is not Henriquez.
In the wake of worldwide protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, some internet users are spreading misinformation about Floyd’s arrest record.
Floyd had multiple brushes with the law and was sentenced to serve five years in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery in 2007 while he still lived in Houston.
But the facts of the incident have gotten muddled on the internet, and some posts claim the woman robbed, Aracely Henriquez, was pregnant and that Floyd beat her and threatened to kill her baby. Social media users are also sharing a photo of a woman with bruises and cuts on her face, claiming it’s Henriquez.
Here, the photo appears on Instagram. We won’t repost the text or image here, because the photo is not of Henriquez, and several of the details about the robbery are either made up or exaggerated.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The woman in the photo is Andrea Sicignano, an American student who was assaulted and raped in Madrid in 2018. Sicignano posted the photo on her Facebook page and Spanish news outlet El Pais published a story about the incident.
On June 12, 2020, Sicignano took to Facebook and said her photo is being misused to spread misinformation about Floyd.
"There has been a photo of me circulating around on the internet since yesterday. The photo was taken of me in a hospital bed in Spain after being violently beaten and raped by a stranger," Sicignano wrote in the post. "I posted my story over a year ago to use my voice to spread awareness and encourage other women to speak out about the injustices they've faced. Today my photo is being used as political propaganda/click bait to make people believe that George Floyd deserved to die. I am disgusted and humiliated, not for myself, but for my country."
Meanwhile, some of the assertions made about the details of the robbery are not accurate.
Floyd was arrested in 2007 for his involvement in an armed home robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison, but court records do not indicate that Henriquez was pregnant at the time of the incident, or that Floyd threatened to kill her baby.
According to the police’s probable cause report, Henriquez, another woman and a toddler were home at the time of the incident and Floyd was one of multiple men who forced their way into the home, during which he threatened her with a gun.
She was injured during the home invasion, but the report says her injuries were inflicted by another man, not Floyd.
An Instagram post claims an image of a woman with bruises on her face is Aracely Henriquez, the victim of an armed home robbery that Floyd was involved in.
But the image isn’t of Henriquez. It shows an American student who was assaulted in Madrid in 2018 .
Floyd served five years in prison for the armed robbery, but there is no evidence that Henriquez was pregnant at the time, and her injuries were inflicted by another man.
We rate this False.
Instagram post, June 14, 2020
El Pais, American student attacked and raped in Madrid neighborhood of Aluche, Dec. 26, 2018
Andrea Sicignano Facebook post, June 12, 2020
Harris County district clerk search, Accessed June 16, 2020
Police probable cause report, Accessed June 16, 2020
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.