Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show A 'Savage' Who Was 'Violently Burning Down' A Neighborhood Or 'Looting'

Fact Check

  • by: Arthur Brice
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show A 'Savage' Who Was 'Violently Burning Down' A Neighborhood Or 'Looting' Unrelated Pic

Does a photo of a fist-raised protester show someone who is violently burning down a neighborhood and looting? No, that's not true: The man shown in the photo was taking part in a 2014 protest in Oakland, California, in which no looting or burning was reported.

The claim appeared in a post on August 29, 2020, on Facebook (archived here) with following text:

We are not savages and deserve respect! We will prove it by violently burning down our neighborhood and looting.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Posted by Bill Miller on Saturday, August 29, 2020

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Sep 7 19:07:19 2020 UTC)

The meme implies that the man in the photo is a "savage" who burned and looted a neighborhood, yet there is no evidence the man -- whose name we do not know -- was engaged in such violence. We do know this photo was taken by photographer Elijah Nouvelage in Oakland, California, on December 13, 2014. You can see the photo at Getty Images , which provided this description:

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 13: Protesters march through the streets during a 'Millions March' demonstration protesting the killing of unarmed black men by police on December 13, 2014 in Oakland, California. The march was one of many held nationwide. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

The local CBS TV station reported at the time that the protest was "largely peaceful," with the exception of a Radio Shack being vandalized:

Bay Area protesters marched in lockstep with hundreds of thousands of people across the country who filled the streets to denounce the police killings of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Demonstrators in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and across the country aim to tell Congress that "they will not stand down until there is systemic change, accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct."

While Lead Stories concluded that that image in the meme was falsely used, we are not fact checking the opinion shared in the meme.

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