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Mall of America wasn’t attacked in Minneapolis protests

May 28, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Protesters looted Mall of America Wednesday night, with a video showing someone driving a car through North America’s largest shopping complex. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. No incidents occurred Wednesday or Thursday at the Mall of America, spokeswoman Sarah Grap confirmed to The Associated Press. 

THE FACTS: Social media users are falsely claiming in Facebook and Twitter posts that Mall of America was trashed this week during protests. Some are using a 2019 video of a car driving through an Illinois mall to make the false claim. 

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Mall of America was not targeted in protests that left a southern Minneapolis neighborhood damaged Thursday morning. 

Protesters gathered at the city’s 3rd Precinct police station, near where 46-year-old George Floyd was arrested by police on Monday. Video shows Floyd gasping for breath while an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes. He was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.

Protests over Floyd’s death left a path of looted stores, smoldering fires and damage that stretched for miles.

Mall of America is in Bloomington, a suburb of the city, about seven miles south of the police station. 

Social media users are also passing around a video of a black SUV driving through a mall, knocking into stores, falsely claiming it shows protesters wreaking havoc on the Mall of America. 

The video was taken in September 2019 at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Ill. A witness at the time captured the film of the SUV driving through the mall, sending shoppers scurrying. That witness video was used by several Chicago news outlets that reported on the incident.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536