The official White House Twitter account circulated a video on Wednesday afternoon falsely claiming “antifa” had pre-stage bricks and stones on a public sidewalk to incite violence amid widespread protests over the death of George Floyd.
The video, which has since been deleted, was actually of a year-old security barrier outside a Jewish community center in Los Angeles meant to protect against anti-Semitic car attacks.
The Chabad of Sherman Oaks took to Facebook earlier this week to debunk conspiracy theories surrounding its anti-ramming security barriers.
“To all our concerned neighbors and friends, there were false pictures and videos going around today, claiming some bricks or rocks were placed at our center,” the center wrote. “Here is the truth: THESE ARE SECURITY BARRIERS and have been here for almost a year! Nevertheless to alleviate peoples concern that they may be vandalized and used by rioters, they were temporarily removed (as can be seen in this picture). Stay safe, we are praying for you all, and may there be only goodness and peace in our community.”
“The White House is falsely claiming that the anti-ramming security barriers outside the Chabad Jewish community centre in Sherman Oaks are actually weapons placed by ‘Antifa and professional anarchists,’” reporter Arieh Kovler tweeted.
The White House deleted the tweet shortly after Kovler’s post.
The White House is falsely claiming that the anti-ramming security barriers outside the Chabad Jewish community centre in Sherman Oaks are actually weapons placed by "Antifa and professional anarchists". pic.twitter.com/y6J7Ta0jYI
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) June 3, 2020
The White House has now deleted the tweet. https://t.co/nRp4GmokED
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 3, 2020
“In several cases, bricks were placed long before protests began in the US, or they are clearly linked to ongoing construction,” BuzzFeed reports. “As of now, there’s no evidence to support claims of coordinated brick placements at protests. However, now that the claims have spread across social media — and been amplified by the White House — it’s possible that people could be inspired to start collecting and placing bricks.”