STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Does a video show military vehicles and personnel moving through West Hollywood during the summer of 2023? No, that's not true: This footage is from the summer of 2020. The video was posted on TikTok on June 2, 2020, around the time that National Guard troops were patrolling the streets of Los Angeles after protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent. The National Guard told Lead Stories on July 19, 2023, that the last time they had been activated "was a few years ago to support law enforcement during civil unrest." There are also articles from reputable news outlets supporting this statement. Lead Stories determined that the video was filmed in Los Angeles, but not West Hollywood. The video took place in a the nearby neighborhood of Fairfax.
The claim appeared on Twitter (archived here) on July 12, 2023. It opened with video showing multiple military vehicles rolling down a populated street. A siren can be heard in the background. The caption is:
‼️ Military is spotted in West Hollywood! 🚨👀🚨
This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:
The video footage was taken at a crossroads, with one of the streets named Beverly. There are no other significant identifiers seen in the Twitter video. On the 2020 TikTok version of this video, there are more markers that can better identify where this took place. On the right side of the video, a business' signage reads, "Chiropractic Center of Los Angeles." Screenshots of that evidence is below:
(Source: TikTok screenshots taken on Wed Jul 19 17:52:28 2023 UTC)
Lead Stories looked up the location of the chiropractic center and found that it was on 322 North La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. Putting that address into Google Maps and backing up to the closest intersection shows that this video was filmed at 246 North La Brea Ave. Here is the screenshot from the intersection where the filming took place:
(Source: Google Maps screenshot taken on Wed Jul 19 17:56:55 2023 UTC)
The account that posted this video on TikTok had an earlier date on it than the Twitter version did. On TikTok, the video is timestamped as having been uploaded on June 2, 2020. The caption also reinforces this taking place in 2020. It reads:
LOS ANGELES JUNE 2, 2020
The tweet says the video took place in West Hollywood, but the location would best be described as taking place in Fairfax. Fairfax and West Hollywood are both neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The red pinpoint on the map is 246 North La Brea Ave.:
(Source: Google Maps screenshot taken on Tue Jul 18 18:33:01 2023 UTC)
Lead Stories did not find any recent articles on the National Guard being deployed in Los Angeles on Google News. Articles about the Los Angeles mayor calling in the California National Guard during May 2020 can be found here and here.
Lead Stories contacted the California National Guard and asked if the Guard was activated and called into Los Angeles during the week of July 12, 2023. On July 19, 2023, the California Military Department Public Affairs Office emailed us saying:
No, that is not true. The California National Guard has multiple full-time operations supporting local, state, and federal authorities throughout California. However, the last time we were activated for emergency response operations in Los Angeles was a few years ago to support law enforcement during civil unrest.
When we asked if that "civil unrest" was during the summer of 2020, the California Military Department Public Affairs Office responded with, "Yes."
2023-07-24T15:35:26Z 2023-07-24T15:35:26ZAdded a response from the California National Guard.