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UPDATE: The Man In The ‘Make Whites Great Again’ Twitter Photo Isn’t A Minnesota Police Officer

Update: Twitter has labeled the photo as “manipulated media” in hundreds of tweets.

A photo of a man wearing a red baseball cap bearing the phrase “Make Whites Great Again” became a trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday, as many misidentified the man as Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer. Chauvin was fired Tuesday after a video surfaced that showed him kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man named George Floyd, who cried that he could not breathe and later died.

The Twitter photo actually showed Internet troll Jonathan Riches, a former federal inmate known for posting misleading photos online and for filing more than 4,000 lawsuits.

Twitter labeled “hundreds” of tweets containing the misidentified image as “manipulated media,” according to a Twitter spokesperson. The added labels link to a thread of tweets from prominent media outlets that correctly identify the man in the photo as Riches.

Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, is seen kneeling on George’s neck in a video shared online. The video was almost 10 minutes long and for most of it, Derek had his knee in George’s neck even as the Black man continually complained that he couldn’t breathe.

 

As Derek Chavin – a 19-year veteran of the force – knelt on George’s neck, two other officers held George down by his stomach and legs.

 

Even after George started bleeding from his nose and became unconscious, Derek didn’t stop kneeling on his neck.

READ ALSO: Black Man Killed By Minneapolis Police Has Been Identified; The Officers Involved Have Been FIRED

 

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The physician and scientist Eugene Gu tweeted that the man in the hat “absolutely sucks but is not the police officer, Derek Chauvin, who took a knee on George Floyd’s neck.”

The man in the hat “is not the same person as the officer who killed George Floyd,” tweeted Carmine Sabia, a conservative writer, adding that “you do not need to create lies to get people more infuriated.”

This is not Derek Chauvin’s first time harming a civilian. In 2008, Chauvin shot and wounded Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic assault call. According to a 2011 article from the Pioneer Press, Chauvin and other officers showed up to an apartment in south Minneapolis just before 2 a.m. Toles grabbed for an officer’s gun and Chauvin shot him in the abdomen.

Also, in 2006, Chauvin and five others responded to a stabbing. After Wayne Reyes, 42, allegedly pulled a shotgun on the officers, one of the officers shot and killed Reyes, according to a report titled “Stolen Lives” from Communities United Against Police Brutality, a police watchdog nonprofit based in Minneapolis.

READ ALSO: Minneapolis Mayor Gets Emotional As He Reacts To Death Of Black Man Who Was Killed By Police Officer (Video)

Another officer who is being called out online is an Asian American cop who stood by during the assault on George Floyd and exchanged words with bystanders who told them to free George. His name is Tou Thao.

 

This is also not Thao’s first time of being accused of police brutality. In 2017, a man named Lamar Ferguson sued Thao and another officer, Robert Thunder, for excessive use of force. According to the lawsuit, Ferguson and a woman, who was eight months pregnant, were walking home when Thao and Thunder stopped and searched them without cause. The officers handcuffed Ferguson, and Thao threw him to the ground and began punching him, while Thunder kicked him, according to the allegations.

 

The officers took Ferguson to the hospital for medical treatment. Afterward, they escorted Ferguson to jail wearing only his underwear and T-shirt, rejecting hospital staff’s requests that he be allowed to fully dress, according to the complaint.

 

Thao was laid off for two years and returned to the department in 2012.

 

Meanwhile, friends and family have gone on Facebook to mourn George Floyd.

 

Floyd’s sister, Vanita Williams-Dabney, wrote on Facebook, “My bro was killed by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day …R I.P. bro we will get Justice for u ..gone2soon ..loveU4life.”

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Written by PH

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