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Man in photos aiming gun at camera is not Jacob Blake

August 27, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Four photos in a post circulating widely on social media show Jacob Blake, the Black man shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin on Sunday, posing with a gun and aiming his weapon at the camera.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. These photos do not show Jacob Blake. They have circulated in the past when police have shot Black men, notably after a Chicago shooting in 2016 and a Minneapolis shooting in 2018.

THE FACTS: In the days since the police shooting of Jacob Blake, misinformation about him has exploded on social media — including posts falsely identifying him in photos of a Black man aiming a gun at the camera.

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“I’m not judging… I’m just showing you pictures of Jacob Blake,” read a post with four photos shared by thousands of Facebook users. All the photos showed a man posing with a gun. In three of them, he pointed it directly at the camera.

There is no resemblance between the man in the photos and Jacob Blake. 

This is also not the first time these photos have been shared after police have shot a Black man. An internet search revealed they appeared on social media in 2016, after Chicago police shot 16-year-old Pierre Loury, and in 2018, after Minneapolis police shot Thurman Blevins.

It is unclear who is pictured in the photos.

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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