FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show People Driving A Stolen Children’s Train During Minneapolis Protests

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows people driving a stolen children’s train down a street during recent Minneapolis protests.

Verdict: False

The image was taken in August 2014 during protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Fact Check:

Protests broke out in Minneapolis and other parts of the country this week after George Floyd died while in police custody. Video showed a Minneapolis police officer, who has been identified as Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes during the arrest, despite Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Social media users have shared the photo of people driving the children’s train in recent days, claiming, “Looters have stolen the children’s train out of the #Minneapolis and their (sic) driving down the street shouting Choo Choo.” (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Former Minneapolis Cop Derek Chauvin At A Trump Rally?)

Through a reverse image search, the Daily Caller discovered the photo is not from protests in Minneapolis, however. The picture, taken by Reuters photographer Mario Anzuoni, comes from August 2014 protests following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, according to its caption.

“People ride a small train-shaped vehicle during a peaceful demonstration, as communities react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 14, 2014,” reads the caption. “Missouri’s governor Jay Nixon moved on Thursday to calm days of racially charged protests over the police shooting of Brown, an unarmed black teenager, naming the African-American captain of the Highway Patrol Ron Johnson to oversee security in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.”

At the time, journalists covering the Ferguson protests posted pictures and videos of the train, purportedly playing music, as it drove down the street, according to BuzzFeed News.

NBC News reported Hennepin County prosecutor Mike Freeman announced that Chauvin, who was fired along with three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest, was arrested on Friday and charged 3rd degree murder and manslaughter.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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