FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Portland Protesters Using Green Lasers Against Law Enforcement?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows protesters in Portland, Oregon, attempting to use green lasers to blind federal law enforcement officers.

Verdict: False

While protesters in Portland have been documented using green lasers on law enforcement officers, the picture shows demonstrators during a 2019 protest in Chile.

Fact Check:

In the image, multiple people, many of them masked, appear to point green lasers in the same direction on a street. The caption claims the photo depicts Portland protesters “intentionally trying to blind” federal law enforcement officers. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A ‘Federal Stormtrooper’ In Portland?)

Protests sparked after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody have occurred in Portland for over two months, according to local NBC affiliate KGW. While some Portland protesters have been documented using green lasers against law enforcement officers, the image being shared does not show such an instance.

A reverse image search reveals the photo, found on Getty Images, actually shows protesters during a Nov. 15, 2019, demonstration in Santiago, Chile. The caption reads, “Demonstrators use green laser lights to riot police officers during a protest against policies of Sebastian Piñera and longstanding inequality on November 15, 2019 in Santiago, Chile.”

Lasers have become an increasingly popular tool among protesters around the globe to distract or obstruct riot police, according to The Atlantic. At least three federal law enforcement officers may have been permanently blinded in Portland by lasers, Fox News reported.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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