FACT CHECK: Did Walmart Tweet, ‘We Wont Be Rebuilding Walmarts In Cities Without Police’?
An image shared on Facebook claims Walmart tweeted, “We wont (sic) be rebuilding Walmarts in cities without police.”
There is no evidence that Walmart ever tweeted the statement. The tweet appears to be fabricated. A representative from Walmart confirmed that the rumor is completely false.
The alleged tweet appears to reference a growing call among some activists to defund police departments. The “defund the police” movement comes amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality after George Floyd died on May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody.
Some looting and rioting has occurred alongside such peaceful protests, according to The Atlantic. Retailers such as Walmart, Target and Apple, as well as other businesses, in major U.S. cities have been affected by such actions, the Washington Post reported.
The tweet, purportedly from Walmart, appears to be fabricated. There is no record of Walmart tweeting the statement from its verified account. Had Walmart done so, it would have been picked up by media outlets, yet none have reported on it. Anne Hatfield, Walmart’s Global Communications Director confirmed in an email to the Daily Caller that “there is no truth to the rumor.”
The background color behind the Twitter handle differs from that of the body of the tweet, further adding to its dubiousness. (RELATED: Is Lego Pulling Its Police-Themed Toy Sets From Stores?)
Walmart has put out several statements on Twitter and its corporate website in response to events following Floyd’s death. However, none of these statements appear to contain any announcement to the effect of that in the fake tweet.
Walmarts in the Chicago area that were looted are still being assessed for damage and “no decision has been made” regarding the reopening of impacted retail locations, a Walmart spokesperson told Business Insider.