The claim: The Chicago police tweeted, ‘We are all Derek Chauvin’ on the department account
After a jury convicted former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, a screenshot of a tweet purporting to show support for Chauvin from the Chicago Police Department went viral.
One Twitter post sharing the screenshot has generated more than 50,000 retweets and 232,000 likes as of April 28. The screenshots was shared across other platforms as well, including Facebook and Instagram.
On April 20, Chauvin was convicted in Floyd’s murder after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes during a 2020 arrest. Video of the murder sparked nationwide demonstrations against police violence last year.
One user who shared the screenshot on Facebook the day after the verdict wrote, “So you are all murderers?” The post included a hashtag that is derogatory toward police.
But the original post is fake. Chicago police have denounced it.
A Facebook user who shared the image did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The screenshot circulating online shows a photo of Chauvin wearing a mask during his trial. The picture portrays it as coming from the Chicago Police account, with a blue checkmark next to the name to show it is a verified account.
Hours after a Twitter account first shared the screenshot, generating thousands of retweets and likes, the department responded on its account that it had notified Twitter about the fake, but it was not removed.
A USA TODAY review of the Chicago Police Department’s Twitter timeline since the verdict found no similar references to the Chauvin trial.
“Not only does this synthetic and manipulated image, which is antithetical to our values, reflect the very worst 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,” Sally Bown, a department spokeswoman, said in a prepared statement.
The bio for the user who shared the fake screenshot on Twitter says “If I tweet it, second guess it. I be on here lying.” In a direct message, the user, who identified themselves as Ace Carter, said they were unsure of the screenshot’s origin.
“When I posted it initially I wasn’t aware that it was photoshopped just like thousands of others,” the poster said. “When I posted it I honestly wasn’t even meaning it to be negative, I actually thought that they were taking accountability.”
Carter said they have not been asked to remove the screenshot, but to do so now is “pointless” because the department already had shared it.
Derek Chauvin is lead out of the courtroom in handcuffs after a guilty verdict is read during the trial of Derek Chauvin of the death of George Floyd at the courthouse in Minneapolis on April 20, 2021. (Photo: Court TV/Handout, USA TODAY NETWORK )
Our ruling: False
The claim that the Chicago Police Department tweeted “We are all Derek Chauvin” is FALSE, based on our research. A USA TODAY review of the department’s Twitter timeline showed no such posts. The department denounced the post and said it had reported the fake post to Twitter, but it remained online.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, April 20, “Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd: Updates”
- Twitter, April 24, Chicago Police Department
- Twitter, accessed April 28, Chicago Police Department timeline
- Email statement from Chicago Police Department spokeswoman Sally Bown
- Direct message interview with Ace Carter
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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
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