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Not America, it's Serbia: Fury erupts as old police brutality video goes viral to spur anger against cops

A video which was being circulated as an incident of police brutality against protesters in the US turned out to be from Serbia
Screengrab of the video (Twitter)
Screengrab of the video (Twitter)

US citizens are still agitated about police personnel handling protesters at various places in the country. And now, a video shared by writer and filmmaker Andy Ostroy shows police personnel attacking protesters. He wrote: "Anyone who can’t understand how Hitler got his citizens to commit atrocities... and think it can’t happen here... just watch. This is some seriously terrifying police brutality that 6 months from now could be a whole lot worse."

Even though he did not mention or claim the video is from US, a lot of Twitterati lashed out on the government. One said, "This is absolutely blowing my mind. I can't believe what I am seeing on the streets of my country. Trump, Barr, every last one of his people need to be charged, convicted and thrown into prison. This is insane." But soon people started questioning the source and where it was from. Ostroy in another tweet said, "Not sure. But it’s horrifying wherever it is."

Actress Jillian Barberie tweeted, "Trump’s America. Dystopian and Grey. Last I checked it wasn’t illegal to protest. If they aren’t looting and breaking things why the excessive force? It’s sickening." Another expressed disappointment by saying, "'Protect and Serve' I fail to see how this was done by a tiny minority of bad cops. Every single cop that could, got a lick in. Horrifying. Trump's America: Make Americans Grotesquely Attacked."

Soon the internet sleuths got to work and found out that the video is actually from Serbia. Soon, netizens began to correct everyone who assumed the video was from US. One user mocked Ostroy, "This video is from Serbia, not the United States. Enjoy the thousands of retweets and likes though." Another said, "This happened in Serbia, you were played. I don’t understand how @twitter isn’t fact checking a comment like this that is so incendiary. Look how angry it’s making people and they are believing it. So dangerous!" 

A twitter user pointed out, "It's horrible I agree, but just to be clear according to followup comments this is from Serbia. The fact that it's believably from here is of course cause for major concern." Some even alleged, "This guy posting a video from Serbia (?) to try to scare Americans and hurt Trump." Matthew Whitlock, senior advisor at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted, "This video has gone viral tonight from Andy and others who are hoping people don’t realize that it’s actually Serbia, not America. Who wants to bet a Democrat member of Congress tweets it if retweets it by morning? And the gaslight will be complete."

Some requested Ostroy to take down the video. A Twitter user wrote, "Reported for the spread of misinformation. This not America like you played it out to be. This is Serbia." An angry user said, "This is so irresponsible of you. This is in Belgrade Serbia during a anti-government protest. Why would you make people think it was here. You could have clarified it but guess you a just stirring the pot like a good socialist."

Ostroy, on the other hand, did not take down the video and instead tweeted, "The main criticism of this tweet (by typically brutality-denying conservatives) is that it's making people believe this is America. The fact that it's so hard to tell the diff right now between US and Serbia is exactly my point."