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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 11, 2022

Video shows police in France in 2019, not Germany in 2021

If Your Time is short

  • An old video showing a man playing the “Imperial March” as police walk by in France has been misrepresented first as showing officers during protests over George Floyd’s death in 2020, and now as police in Germany. 

"Meanwhile in Germany…" reads the text over a video that shows a man playing the "Imperial March" from "Star Wars" as black-clad police officers walk by. 

The video was posted to Facebook on Dec. 14 2021, after a weekend of protests against COVID-19 policies in multiple German cities, including some demonstrations that became violent. 

The video continued to draw comments and be shared in March 2022. But this video wasn’t filmed in 2021, and not in Germany either. 

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.)

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People can be heard speaking French in the video, including a man who appears to be holding the camera saying "encore, encore, encore," which means "again" in French. The word "police" appears on the back of the officers’ uniforms — it’s the same word as in English. In German, the word is "polizei." 

A version of this footage appeared online as early as February 2019, a year before the pandemic. Fact Crescendo, a fact-checking outlet in India, pinpointed the location of the incident in Marseille, France, when it debunked a claim in 2020 that the recording showed police in the United States during protests over George Floyd’s death. 

We rate claims that this happened in Germany in 2021 False. 


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Video shows police in France in 2019, not Germany in 2021

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