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
- This image shows 16 of the people accused of killing law enforcement officers in 2016.
- According to the FBI, 66 law enforcement officers died that year as a result of a criminal act.
An image being shared on social media in 2020 shows a grid of 16 people, some posing for mugshots.
"This is a picture of all the men who have killed police officers this year," a description of the image says. "Anyone notice anything strange?"
Some commenters interpreted the question to suggest that the men in the photos survived to have their mugshots taken because they are white, whereas a Black suspect would have been killed.
We won’t weigh in on that speculation. But this post is wrong on another point. The men in the photos were accused of killing law enforcement officers in 2016, not 2020.
This 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.)
We did a reverse image search for each of the photos that appear in the grid.
The man in the first photo, Herschel R. Jones III, was accused of shooting and killing a police officer in Danville, Ohio, in January 2016. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.
Moving right to left, top to bottom, the man in the second photo is Corey Lee Henderson, who was shot and killed by police in Holladay, Utah, after police said Henderson shot and killed a police officer in January 2016.
The fourth photo shows Austin Holzer, who was 17 when he was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal February 2016 shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Mesa County, Colorado. He pleaded guilty.
The sixth photo shows Marcus Schumacher, who authorities said shot and killed a police officer in Fargo, N.D., before he turned the gun on himself in February 2016.
The seventh photo shows Charles Lee Lambert, who shot and killed a state trooper in Mississippi in February 2016 and was then killed by other officers.
The eighth photo shows Martin Wirth, who shot and killed an officer in Bailey, Colo., before officers shot and killed him in February 2016.
The ninth photo shows Evan Dorsey, who police said shot and killed an Indiana sheriff’s deputy before killing himself in March 2016.
The 10th photo shows Lincoln Rutledge, who was accused of killing an Ohio police officer who was part of a SWAT team trying to arrest Rutledge for allegedly setting fire to his estranged wife’s house in April 2016. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The 11th photo shows Joseph Moreno, who was accused of killing an officer in Alamogordo, N.M., in September 2016. Police shot and killed Moreno.
The 13th photo shows John Hernandez Felix, who was sentenced to death in the October 2016 killing of two police officers in Palm Springs, Calif.
The 14th photo shows Ralph Stanley Elrod Jr., who was charged with murder in the deaths of two sheriff’s deputies in Peach County, Ga., in November 2016. He pleaded guilty and received two life sentences.
The 15th photo shows Larry Darnell Gordon, who authorities said was trying to escape from a courthouse in Michigan when he took a gun from an officer and killed two bailiffs before he was fatally shot by other officers in July 2016.
It’s unclear what the Facebook post meant when it asked about the grid: "Anyone notice anything strange?"
Many of the people featured in the image who were accused of killing officers were themselves shot and killed at the scene by police. Lead Stories, which also looked into this claim, also noted that other officers were killed that year by suspects including men of different ethnicities.
The post claims that the photos show "all the men" who killed police officers this year. It’s true that the people in the images were accused of killing law enforcement officers. But that was in 2016, not 2020. And more than 16 people were accused of killing police that year. According to the FBI, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2016, including 66 law enforcement officers who died as a result of criminal acts.
We rate this post Mostly False.
Facebook post, Sept. 16, 2020
NBC4i.com, Jury trial date set for alleged cop killer, May 7, 2016
Deseret News, Veteran Unified police officer, gunman killed in Holladay shootings, Jan. 17, 2016
Oregonian, Man accused of killing Seaside cop had been jailed 41 times over 25 years in Clatsop County, Feb. 9, 2016
CBS Denver, Teen accused of murdering Mesa County deputy will be tried as an adult, Feb. 23, 2016
The Baltimore Sun, Suspect who killed Harford deputies remained elusive for decades, Feb. 27, 2016
The Associated Press, Man who killed Fargo officer died of self-inflicted gunshot wound, March 25, 2106
The Associated Press, Mom: Police didn’t let me talk to son during standoff, Feb. 21, 2016
CBS Denver, Man who shot deputies ranted against government, police, Feb. 24, 2016
WishTV.com, Sister of man accused of killing deputy: ‘Very sorry for hell families are going through,’ March 21, 2020
The Associated Press, Ohio police officer wounded in weekend shooting dies, April 12, 2016
4 News, Suspect fired shot that killed Alamogordo officer, police say, Sept. 5, 2016
KMOV4, St. Louis County officer killed in line of duty, Oct. 6, 2016
Patch, Felon who killed 2 RivCo police officers sentenced to death, Sept. 3, 2019
WDEF, DA seeks death for suspect in killing of 2 Georgia deputies, Jan. 13, 2017
The Associated Press Sheriff: Inmate who killed 2 at courthouse cuffed in front, July 12, 2016
Las Cruces Sun News, Accused cop killer seeks move to trial out of Dona Ana County, Oct. 21, 2016
Department of Justice press release, March 1, 2018
Lead Stories, Fact check: Meme mugshots do NOT represent all of the people who killed officers this year, Sept. 28, 2020
FBI press release, Oct. 16, 2017
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.