Verified Twitter users shared an erroneous side-by-side image supposedly showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat.
Several major accounts followed by millions spread the image claiming the person wearing the hat is the same officer who suffocated Minneapolis resident George Floyd on video – with no action taken by Twitter after the image was verified to be inaccurate.
On the left side of the image is a screen shot of Officer Chauvin, seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he struggled to breathe. On the right is a photo of a man wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” who has been identified as professional troll Jonathan Lee Riches.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) May 27, 2020
Rap icon Ice Cube, AKA O’Shea Jackson, shared the photo Wednesday to his 4.9 million followers, stating, “A wolf in wolves clothing. The demons are among us. #Fightthecowards,” suggesting the cop at the center of the controversy was a racist supporter of President Donald Trump.
Jackson also shared a tweet calling out “Blue on Black Crime” and asking, “How long… before we strike back???”
How long will we go for Blue on Black Crime before we strike back??? https://t.co/sXDq7SXl6W
— Ice Cube (@icecube) May 26, 2020
Many including media analyst Mark Dice let Ice Cube and others know the image was misleading and inaccurate.
That’s NOT the cop, dumbass. It’s professional troll and fraudster Jonathan Lee Riches. Maybe twitter should be adding fact check notices to your tweets instead of the Presidents. But congratulations on pouring gasoline on the fire, moron. https://t.co/bXTBC4j6uk
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) May 27, 2020
NAACP President Bishop Talbert Swan, who has over 148 thousand followers, also shared the photo, claiming the man wearing the hat was Chauvin.
Here is Derek Chauvin, the racist cop who kept his knee on #GeorgeFloyd’s neck, cut off his air passage and murdered him, wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat, a clear sign that this piece of excrement should’ve been taken off the streets a long time ago.#JusticeForFloyd pic.twitter.com/KxGxHAIzlH
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) May 27, 2020
Left-leaning fact-checking website Snopes labeled Talbert’s image “miscaptioned” when reviewing his tweet.
Another verified user with over 17K followers, former NBCUniversal exec Mike Sington, also shared the picture, adding, “100% guarantee he also owns a MAGA hat.”
Here’s the cop Derek Chauvin in the process of murdering George Floyd. Look at that, the scumbag was photographed wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat. 100% guarantee he also owns a MAGA hat. pic.twitter.com/8J5O49qBfs
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) May 27, 2020
The photo was also shared by verified Twitter user Rosanna Arquette to her over 100 thousand followers.
Comedian Mario Cantone, another verified user, also shared the image:
Derek Chauvin. Lynching Murdering Evil Monster in his “work” gear and “Fun” gear. Sick soulless empty dead eyed fuck. pic.twitter.com/k67ApyEW2E
— Mario Cantone (@macantone) May 27, 2020
The message on troll Jonathan Riches’ hat prompted the phrase “Make Whites Great Again,” to trend on Twitter, despite the photo’s inaccuracy.
Twitter did not appear to have taken action against the posts, or against the accounts that shared the photo as of writing, notable given the platform “fact-checked” president Trump’s tweet about mail-in voting just yesterday.
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