FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show A Member Of The Proud Boys At A Michigan Protest
An image shared on Facebook claims to show a member of the Proud Boys at a protest in the Michigan Capitol building.
The image misidentifies the man. It shows Brian Cash, a local Michigan flooring installer.
Social media users started sharing the image last month after a protest against coronavirus restrictions at the Michigan Capitol building. In the photo, a bearded man appears to be yelling while standing in close proximity to two masked police officers.
“This is Rob Cantrell,” claims the caption. “He lives in Los Angeles. He is a white supremacist who is being paid to attend the protests such as the one in Michigan yesterday. Trump says these are good people. This is the face of MAGA. Spread their shame.”
Rob Cantrall led an Oregon chapter of Proud Boys, an organization of self-proclaimed “western chauvinists,” according to BBC News. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the men’s organization a “hate group.” But the man pictured is not Cantrall. (RELATED: Did Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Authorize ‘Lethal Force’ To Enforce Michigan’s Stay-At-Home Order?)
The photo actually shows Cash, a flooring installer from New Hudson, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. Agence France-Presse photographer Jeff Kowalsky took the photo of Cash, who described himself as a marijuana activist, on April 30.
Cash told the Detroit Free Press that he didn’t know who Cantrall was at first, but became upset with being associated with someone he called a “racist” after doing research.