'We are all Derek Chauvin': Fake Chicago Police tweet goes viral after ex-Minneapolis cop's conviction
A screengrab of the fake tweet started to circulate on Facebook after the Chauvin verdict was announced on April 20
After ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, a fake screenshot of an April 24 tweet from the Chicago police seems to show the department siding with the disgraced cop.
A screengrab of the fake tweet started to circulate on Facebook after the Chauvin verdict was announced on April 20. "We are all Derek Chauvin," the tweet read, with a picture of Chauvin's face hearing the conviction being announced by the jury. He sat in the courtroom with a face mask on. His face revealed little emotion as he heard the verdict. However, the tweet in question was never sent out by the Chicago Police Department.
'Misinformation like this puts people at risk'
In fact, the post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to push back against false news and misinformation on its News Feed. Sally Bown, a spokesperson for Chicago Police, told PolitiFact that the screenshot isn’t authentic and is not linked to the police department in any way. "Not only does this synthetic and manipulated image, which is antithetical to our values, reflect the very worse of disinformation on social media, it also puts our officers and communities at risk by widening the gap in trust that we are working so hard to build, bridge and restore," the department said in a statement Bown shared with the publication.
Apparently, the department did try to warn Twitter that the screenshot was fraudulent when it initially began circulating on the platform but was notified by Twitter that the image didn’t violate their policies. On April 25, the department also retweeted a local TV reporter who wrote, "Seen this photoshopped image go around. It’s clearly fake. … Misinformation like this puts people at risk."
We reported the tweet and were just notified by Twitter that they reviewed the content, and didn’t find a violation of their policies, so no action will be taken at this time.— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) April 25, 2021
Seen this photoshopped image go around. It’s clearly fake. @Twitter should take action. Misinformation like this puts people at risk. @TwitterSupport @Chicago_Police https://t.co/KM95cwrMJS pic.twitter.com/krLQHcMh6q— Brandon Pope TV (@BpopeTV) April 25, 2021
No evidence CPD tweeted and then deleted message
PolitiFact has also done due diligence in tracking down the origin of the tweet in question and found the police department’s Twitter feed didn’t have the message that appears in the screenshot. In fact, the CPD has not posted a single tweet about Chauvin. The outlet confirmed that there also wasn't any evidence that the department tweeted and then deleted the message.
However, on May 29, 2020, the department did appear to weigh in on George Floyd’s death. Sharing a video of Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, the department had tweeted: "What happened to George Floyd is reprehensible. As CPD works to ensure you have the ability to express your First Amendment rights, we ask you to do it in a safe and peaceful manner."
The death of Floyd sparked violent protests around the country and prompted Brown to address the situation.“What took place in Minneapolis earlier this week is absolutely reprehensible and tarnished the badge nationwide, including here in Chicago,” Brown said. “I want to make it clear that this behavior is not acceptable in Chicago, will not be tolerated under my command, and quite frankly has no place in law enforcement anywhere. The Chicago Police Department has been working very hard to develop authentic relationships and restore trust with our communities, and the actions that led to George Floyd’s death certainly make our job more difficult.”
Brown also said the actions of the Minneapolis police “are not reflective of the overwhelming amount of officers committed to constitutional policing nationwide” and that “any officer who abuses their power or stands by and allows it to happen does not deserve to wear the badge, period.”