Thanks! Yeah, as you probably guessed, that story you heard on the radio is not true.

There is one photograph of a protester with a gun, which was taken the night the police left the precinct (June 8). Basically, the police told the media there was a “credible threat” of arson to the precinct building, and police also said, over their police scanner, that there was a group of armed Proud Boys headed toward the precinct.

Neither the arsonist nor the Proud Boys materialized. But the protesters were given a reason to believe that they had to protect themselves (and the precinct, if they didn’t want to get blamed for it burning down), so at least one guy with a gun did show up late that night to “guard” the precinct.

Fox News got caught Photoshopping that picture of a guy with a gun into a bunch of different pictures: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fox-news-removes-digitally-altered-misleading-photos-of-seattle-protest-zone-2020-06-14

They also reported that guards were demanding money from businesses in the area, which also wasn’t true: https://www.mediamatters.org/diversity-discrimination/fox-news-still-pushing-false-police-claim-seattle-protester-violence-even

The disparity between the media coverage of this event and what has been going on on the ground is truly staggering! It’s dangerous when the media reports a claim without fact checking, and even more insidious when they knowingly push false narratives for clicks and/or propaganda purposes.

Omari Salisbury is reporting live from the CHOP every day and he’s a great person to follow for updates: https://twitter.com/Omarisal

Artist and historian. PhD student researching religion, material culture, media, and politics. Bylines at The Wire Magazine, Art in America + more.

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