Fact Check: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar Did NOT Pose With 'Defund The Police' Protestors -- Photo Is Edited

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar Did NOT Pose With 'Defund The Police' Protestors -- Photo Is Edited Edited Photo

Did Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and state Attorney General Keith Ellison pose in a warmhearted way with a roomful of protesters holding "Defund the Police" signs? No, that's not true: A photo purporting to show such a scene has been altered; the original photo does show Klobuchar, Ellison and a group of people gathered, but no "Defund The Police" signs appear in the original image. The people in the original photo were gathered in the runup to the 2022 election in Minnesota, and the photo was posted to X, formerly Twitter, by Ellison on October 16, 2022.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on February 19, 2024. The post was captioned:

Amy's page won't let me post pictures, so I'm posting here...Klobuchar, Ellison and Flanagan...which is it Amy Klobuchar????? You never let a tragedy go to waste.

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

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Feb 21 01:49:49 2024 UTC)

The post contains two screenshots. Pictured in the left side screenshot (above) are two posts made by Klobuchar, a Democrat, (here and here). These posts concern two Burnsville, Minnesota, police officers -- Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge -- and a firefighter, Adam Finseth, who were killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. The right side screenshot (above) shows an image bearing the traces of having been reposted several times. The image shows a crowded room, with several people holding "Defund the Police" protest signs. In the foreground is Ellison, the Minnesota attorney general, taking the group photo selfie, and in the background, a smiling Klobuchar, wearing a blue jacket, is circled in red. This image is not authentic.

The original image (the composite image below will open larger in a new screen) was posted by Ellison to X on October 16, 2022 (archived here). Although several people in the group are wearing T-shirts with political slogans, they are not protest slogans -- and no one is holding a "Defund the Police" sign. The caption posted by Ellison includes the term "DFLers," which is the acronym of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The caption reads:

Minnesotans are fired up to elect DFLers up & down the ballot who will protect their personal freedoms, make sure they take home every $ they earn, protect them from corporate fraud, and protect our multiracial democracy. Let's build a MN where everybody counts, everybody matters


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with X screenshots taken on Wed Feb 21 03:02:05 2024 UTC)

Another post made by Ellison the same day (embedded below) features a video with State Auditor Julie Blaha, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and several of the people who appear in the group photo. The post is captioned:

23 days to vote.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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