FACT CHECK: Viral Video Claims To Show Boston Police Vandalizing Their Vehicle To ‘Blame It On The Protesters’

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows Boston police officers damaging one of their vehicles to “blame it on the protesters” following the death of George Floyd.

Verdict: False

The video shows Boston police officers removing broken glass from the vehicle’s windshield after it was damaged by civilians during a protest, according to a Boston Police Department spokesperson.

Fact Check:

Protests and riots have erupted in cities across the U.S. following the death of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, according to video of the incident. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims MSNBC Aired ‘World War Z’ Clip During George Floyd Protest Coverage)

Multiple Facebook users have shared footage that they claim shows Boston police damaging one of their own vehicles to “blame it on the protesters” during recent demonstrations. In the video, several officers stand around the vehicle, which already appears to be damaged, and one jumps onto its hood to prod at the broken windshield with a baton.

“They’ll probably blame it on the protesters. They’re beating up their own car, as we speak, right now,” a person off-screen can be heard saying in the video. “The cops are beating up their own car and they’re gonna blame it on the protesters.”

That is not an accurate description of events, however. Boston Police Sgt. John Boyle told local ABC affiliate WCVB that the videotaped officers removed broken glass from the windshield so that they could drive the already-damaged vehicle away from the scene.

“The officer wasn’t able to drive it safely because they could not see out of the window. Their vision was impaired,” Boyle told WCVB. “The decision was made to remove a portion of the windshield so the officer could remove the vehicle without striking anybody.”

The Daily Caller found a video on Twitter that shows civilians caused significant damage to the vehicle prior to the police clearing broken glass from its windshield. That video, which has the same buildings in the background as the Facebook video, depicts rioters jumping on its hood and breaking the windshield.

“Here’s the real video of what happened to that police car,” reads the tweet. “There’s videos out there showing that the cops staged the damaged to their own car.”

WCVB also reported that the Facebook video ends before showing the police drive the vehicle away from the area. As of June 1, 21 police cruisers sustained damage during protests in response to Floyd’s death, the Boston Police Department tweeted.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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