FACT CHECK: Image Claims George Floyd’s Death Was Filmed Before The Coronavirus Pandemic

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims George Floyd’s death was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic because people in the footage weren’t wearing face masks.

Verdict: False

Floyd died on May 25, well into the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Publicly available video shows that some people present during the incident that resulted in Floyd’s death wore masks.

Fact Check:

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, even after Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, according to video of the incident. His death has prompted protests across the country.

Baseless claims related to Floyd’s death have circulated on social media in recent weeks. In this case, multiple Facebook users claim his death was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic because nobody in footage of the incident appears to be wearing masks.

However, that claim doesn’t hold up. A review of publicly available video shows that former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, who has been charged in Floyd’s death, and at least one other officer were wearing face masks. EMTs who helped load Floyd into the ambulance wore masks, a bystander video shows.

FactCheck.org also reported that a firefighter who arrived on the scene after the ambulance left had a mask. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show George Floyd Alive At His Own Funeral?)

The first U.S. coronavirus cases were reported in late January, months before Floyd died. The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic in March, according to The New York Times.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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