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No evidence 175 arrested in Kenosha identified as ‘BLM-antifa’

September 1, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, recently arrested 175 people who identify as anti-fascist or support Black Lives Matter.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Partly false. The Kenosha Police Department did issue a press release saying 175 people had been arrested there between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30, but the agency did not share information about their identities or affiliations.

THE FACTS: After Kenosha police announced they arrested 175 people in the week after the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake, false claims began to emerge on social media about the people in police custody.

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“KENOSHA: 175 BLM-ANTIFA have been arrested,” read one Facebook post viewed more than 272,000 times. “102 live OUTSIDE Kenosha - from 44 different cities. More than 20 guns seized.”

Some of the facts in this post are accurate. According to an Aug. 30 press release from local authorities, 175 people were arrested between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30, and 102 listed addresses outside of Kenosha during their processing. The arrest numbers did include people from 44 different cities, and more than 20 firearms were seized.

However, authorities did not offer details regarding the identities or affiliations of those arrested.

There is no evidence all 175 people arrested supported the Black Lives Matter movement, or identified with antifa, an umbrella term that is short for anti-fascist and refers to a range of far-left militant groups that oppose neo-Nazis and white supremacists at public events.

Kenosha authorities arrested some people for charges such as possession of weapons, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct. Others face charges for being out past a local city curfew amid the unrest.

A call to the Kenosha Police Department for additional information was not returned.

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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