May 29, 2020 / 3:47 PM / 2 months ago

Fact check: 2019 video of SUV crashing into mall is falsely linked to Minneapolis protests

Users on social media are resharing a 2019 video of a SUV crashing through a mall, alleging it happened recently in Minnesota, where protests have broken out over the death of an unarmed black man after a white policeman knelt on his neck. The footage actually shows an incident in a shopping center in Illinois, but some users are falsely claiming it was filmed inside Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

A tweet posted on May 28, 2020 featuring the old video reads: “RIP to mall of America (Loudly crying face emoji) they’re already $1.5 billion behind on their mortgage bills” ( here? )

While some users acknowledge this video has been taken out of context ( here , here ), others are sharing it believing the footage is recent ( here ).

The video actually shows an incident from 2019 at Woodfield Mall, in Schaumburg, Illinois ( here )

On September 20 last year, a 22-year-old man drove a utility vehicle into Woodfield Mall, shattering glass and striking multiple structures of the building. No major injuries were reported ( here ). The man, Javier García, was charged with terrorism but later found unfit for trial and sent for psychiatric treatment ( here , here ).

The falsely labelled video of the Woodfield incident has started circulating since protests erupted in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd on Monday. Floyd, 46, was seen in a widely circulated video, lying face down and handcuffed by police, groaning for help and repeatedly saying, “please, I can’t breathe,” before growing motionless ( here ).

Demonstrations in Minneapolis, accompanied by looting and vandalism ( here , here )began hours after Mayor Jacob Frey urged prosecutors to file criminal charges against the white policeman shown pinning Floyd to the street. ( here )

VERDICT

False. This old video is unrelated to the Minneapolis protests; it shows an SUV crashing through Woodfield Mall in Illinois in September 2019.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .

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