June 22, 2020 / 11:29 AM / 2 months ago

Fact check: Couple pictured did not injure a police horse by throwing a brick at it in London

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Social media users have shared a photograph claiming it shows a couple who injured a police horse by throwing a brick at it during recent protests in London. This claim is not true.

The circulation of the false claim began after protesters clashed with mounted police towards the end of an anti-racism demonstration in London on June 6 (here) .

A previous Reuters fact check found that while a bicycle was thrown at a police horse used by a mounted police officer on June 6, the animal did not sustain any injuries (here) .

A photo of a man and woman said to have been implicated has now been shared more than 83,000 times, typically with text that reads: “This is the couple who threw a brick at and injured the police horse in London yesterday. The media are refusing to share their pic so let’s make them go viral ourselves”.(here , here , here)

The man shown in the photo told Reuters that the allegations are not true, and that he and his girlfriend, also pictured, did not attend any of the recent protests in London.

Metropolitan Police detectives have released photographs of people they wish to speak to in connection with “violent clashes” during “a number of demonstrations across London” between June 3 and June 13 (here) . The man pictured in the social media post with his girlfriend do not appear in any of the 60 pictures published ( here , here , here ).

VERDICT

False. A police horse was not injured by a brick during London protests; couple in picture say they were not in the city at the time and are not featured among pictures released by Metropolitan Police in connection with recent disorder in central London.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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