Fact Check: Georgia Officers, EMTs Did NOT Die After 'Someone Laced The Air With Fentanyl' -- All Were Treated And Released

Fact Check

  • by: Courtney Kealy
Fact Check: Georgia Officers, EMTs Did NOT Die After 'Someone Laced The Air With Fentanyl' --  All Were Treated And Released No One Died

Did responding police officers and emergency medical personnel in North Georgia die because of exposure to fentanyl? No, that's not true: Two Gilmer County sheriff's deputies and five Gilmer County emergency medical service personnel were treated -- and released from the hospital -- after exposure to "an unknown controlled substance" at the scene of a single-vehicle crash, according to a May 20, 2022, press release from Gilmer County Public Safety. There were no deaths among the county personnel.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post on June 6, 2022. It opened:

omg did y'all hear abt that shit with the fentanyl? someone laced the air with fentanyl & a call was made to 911 and everyone
including the responding officers and emts died bc of the fentanyl in the air... this all happened in North Georgia and we haven't heard nothing bout it on the news πŸ€”
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-06-07 at 4.25.41 PM.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jun 7 21:25:41 2022 UTC)

Local news reports detailed an incident in May 2022 that injured officers and EMTs in Gilmer County, Georgia.

Lead Stories reached out to the Gilmer County sheriff's office. Melissa Waddell, a public information officer, replied in an email on June 7, 2022, referring to a press release put out by the county's public safety department. She wrote:

As you can see, it clearly states that all 7 public safety personnel were treated and released from the hospital, which debunks this incorrect info. on FB.

This is what the Public Safety press release from May 20, 2022 -- more than two weeks before the Facebook post -- looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-06-07 at 4.26.13 PM.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jun 7 21:26:13 2022 UTC)

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  Courtney Kealy

Courtney Kealy is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, she specializes in national and foreign affairs with more than two decades experience in the Middle East. Her work has appeared on FOX News, AlJazeera America, ABC News, the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time and Newsweek.

Read more about or contact Courtney Kealy

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