Don’t Get Mislead In This Misinformation War: The George Floyd Protests

george floydIt happened to me and I’m a fact-checker. That’s the worst part about it. I normally check my facts before I say anything about anything. So, don’t think I’m here to preach. I’m here to let you know there is a lot of information going around and a good bit of it is false.

Just to give you a clue, I’ll tell you a story about what tripped me up. When George Floyd was murdered, he said the words, “I can’t breathe.” Those words were captured on video and they have been held up in signs in the protests.

The second level of me getting tripped up is the fact that the protests have gone from Minneapolis to St. Paul. Now, they are in California, Georgia, and the Washington Capitol as well as other cities across the United States. It’s easy to assume that protests are taking place in New York.

Someone shared this photo of three NYPD officers mocking those words, “I can’t breathe.” Instead, they have what they think is funny, “I can breathe.” Smiles. No remorse. Pure evil in their faces. Guys who are ready to become the next officers to murder someone.

So, I posted it and it wasn’t long before I was informed that this picture was taken back in 2014 during the Eric Garner protests when he was strangled to death because an officer grabbed him from behind and choked him out for selling cigarettes on the street. When I was first informed, I did a quick search and learned that the picture was not about George Floyd. Then, I immediately took it down.

I don’t have any right to tell anyone what to do because I’m a huge jokester who doesn’t take anything seriously…almost never. But when I feel like I’m fueling the fire and using information that is not accurate, I don’t feel right about it. I have to take it down.

Those officers protesting the protest back in 2014 were definitely wrong. But it’s not about today. I like being true and accurate and that means sometimes, I have to check myself.

 

In another example, I saw a post talking about Rednecks defending a store with this picture: george floyd

 

Of course, what the story isn’t telling you is that this is the full picture:

george floyd

And that’s a picture that shows you diversity in the holding down of this particular store. They are all serious and they will all defend that store. It’s sad that it takes the fact-checkers and my apologies for not fact-checking well enough to be right before I posted something, and then took it down. But I will always be on the side of right. You can count on that.

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Michael Allen is the author of A River in the Ocean, the heartwarming story of a single father who is separated from his daughter when an awful accident nearly takes his life. He comes out of his coma with amnesia, but something keeps pulling him to find what's missing in his life. He didn't know he was looking and she didn't know she needed found. Available now at Amazon!

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