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- The photo is not of Chauvin. It depicts a man named Jonathan Riches, a former federal inmate.
Four Minneapolis police officers were fired on May 26, 2020, after video surfaced of a white officer pinning down a black man by the throat with his knee. The man, George Floyd, pleaded repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe and minutes later went limp and appeared to lose consciousness. He later died at the hospital.
But amid national outrage at what unfolded, misinformation is also spreading.
The image of Derek Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck, has started to appear on Facebook alongside another photograph of a man with a red baseball cap that reads "Make Whites Great Again." The phrase is a play on President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.
The posts suggest that the man in the hat is Chauvin, but it isn’t him.
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.)
Riches told fact-checking organization Snopes that he is the person in the photograph, but claimed the "Make Whites Great Again" slogan was photoshopped.
Meanwhile, he’s seen in other photographs that have now been deleted but still exist in screenshots, wearing a hat with the same wording. A Twitter user also posted a screenshot of Riches’ grandmother sharing the photo. The slogan is the same.
Online users are misidentifying a photo of a man in a "Make Whites Great Again" hat as ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when it actually depicts a man named Jonathan Riches.
We rate this False.
Facebook post, May 27, 2020
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minneapolis police, protesters clash almost 24 hours after George Floyd's death in custody, May 27, 2020
Snopes, Is This Ex-Minn. Cop Derek Chauvin Wearing a ‘Make Whites Great Again’ Hat?, May 27, 2020
The Hill, 'Make Whites Great Again' trends on Twitter after George Floyd's death, May 27, 2020
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