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VERIFY: Photo of Minnesota police officer in 'Make Whites Great Again' hat isn't real

In the midst of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, social media posts are trying to falsely insert political motives.

Protests over the death of George Floyd continued across the country Thursday and, at the same time, social media sites hosted misinformation about one of the officers involved.

Two photos in particular claim to show former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat, and separately standing next to President Donald Trump on stage at a rally.

THE QUESTION:

Do photos really show Derek Chauvin wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat or show him standing next to President Trump?

THE ANSWER:

No. Neither photo is actually of Chauvin.

WHAT WE FOUND:

The first photo shows the real Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck next to another photo that is supposed to be Chauvin wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat.

Only problem? That’s not Chauvin in the hat. It’s Jonathan Riches -- an infamous internet troll.

Credit: VERIFY

Riches has posed as the uncle of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter and as a Muslim supporting Hillary Clinton in the past. We can’t explain why he does this, but we can verify that he is not the office involved and that the images claiming they’re the same person are false.

Credit: VERIFY

A second picture claims to show Chauvin at a Trump rally in Minnesota. 

Credit: VERIFY

It is not him either. Not only do they not look alike, the Minneapolis police union confirmed that “none of the officers in the incident were near the Trump rally.”

We can verify the claims that this photo shows Chauvin at a Trump rally are also false.

While George Floyd’s death has led to a lot of deep discussions and protests around the country, disinformation and rumors can be harmful. These false claims try to steer the narrative and insert political motives using false evidence. We’d urge you not to share them.

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