Video of Vancouver riots being passed off as Miami after Zimmerman acquittal
Clip of 2011 Stanley Cup riots erroneously shared on social media following verdict in Trayvon Martin case
Many people worried there would be widespread rioting in American cities if George Zimmerman walked out of a Florida courtroom a free man. And some were all too willing Saturday night to spread that fear.
Following the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, in which neighbourhood watch captain Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, a misleading video made the rounds online apparently depicting a riot in progress in Miami.
The video, first uploaded to YouTube and later reposted at World Star Hip Hop, was shared tens of thousands of times on Saturday night. However, the video actually depicted part of the 2011 Vancouver riots, which shook that city following the Vancouver Canucks’ loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals.
Most Canadians would have recognized the video’s location immediately since whoever shot the original footage mentions Vancouver’s Granville Street, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and suggests the police should go “all Dziekański” on the rioters — a reference to the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekański, whose death at the Vancouver airport in 2007 made national headlines.
The video going around of riots in Miami is FAKE. There are NO mountains in Miami. It is from Vancouver, Canada in 2011 after Stanley Cup.—
Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) July 14, 2013
But to an American listener, those cues may well have gotten lost. Shot from a distance, the only thing clearly visible in the video is a sea of people clogging a street as a fire burns in the distance. The narrator’s suggestion that “hopefully the police are cracking skulls tonight” and insistence that “this is one of the only times that I approve of police brutality” would also have enraged many Americans who feel the verdict was unjust.
Although some people on Twitter tried to point out the truth, many others continued to spread the false rumour that there was a riot in Miami. There were no Zimmerman-related riots reported in any American cities as of this writing.
There are also no mountains in Miami.