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Fact check: Product images mislabeled as riot control truck heading to Portland

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Thousands of users on social media are sharing photographs of a blue vehicle with a label reading “police riot control unit”, alleging it was seen in Salem, Oregon and is likely to be deployed to Portland. This claim is unfounded. The photographs featured are product images from a Slovakian company.

A post shared over 82,000 times on Facebook here reads: “Holyshutthefrontdoor. Seen loaded up going thru Salem Oregon going North. Probably to Portland Oregon where the riots have been.” Other iterations featuring screenshots of the post or replicating the caption are visible here , here and here , here .

The claim follows weeks of protests in Portland, Oregon over the death of George Floyd and anger at the deployment of federal agents in response to the unrest. Federal agents have drawn national attention for whisking away demonstrators in unmarked cars, beating a U.S. navy veteran and tear-gassing the city’s mayor Ted Wheeler ( here , here , here ).

The images in the claim are visible here (see first photograph at the bottom of the page). The Bozena Police Protection Union, developed by Slovakian company Way Industries, is described as “designed to control riots in streets and urbanized areas and to protect the law-enforcement units in action whenever peace maintenance is required.” The website adds that the system is “predominantly for the special military and police units responsible for the CROWD CONTROL during the violent political/social demonstrations, against football hooligans, etc.” Additional footage of the vehicle is visible youtu.be/WaATRpkm-ws .

The images appear to have been captured at the Way Industries headquarters in Krupina, Slovakia (see building with logo and industrial chimney bit.ly/2BIYL5j ).

On July 29, 2020 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that federal troops will begin a phased withdrawal from downtown Portland, ceding some security functions to Oregon state troopers and local law enforcement after two months of protests ( here ).

VERDICT

False. Photographs do not show police riot control truck going to Portland

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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