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Photo shows Biden with young boy in Detroit, not George Floyd’s son

April 12, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Photo shows President Joe Biden kneeling in front of George Floyd’s son.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo was taken on Sept. 9, 2020, shows Biden in Detroit with C.J. Brown. His father, Clement Brown Jr, owns a clothing store in the city.

THE FACTS: As testimony continues in the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of Floyd during an arrest last May in Minneapolis, social media users falsely claimed that a photo of Biden kneeling in front of a young boy in Detroit showed the president with Floyd’s son.

Social media users shared the unrelated photo with false context. “U.S. President Joe Biden kneels down to beg George Floyd’s son for forgiveness,” a Facebook user who posted the photo falsely claimed. The false claims also circulated on Twitter.


Associated Press photographer Patrick Semansky took a photo of Biden and C.J. from a similar angle. That photo also shows the boy’s grandfather, Clement Brown, whose son -- C.J.’s father, Clement Jr. -- owns the store Three Thirteen in Detroit. Biden reportedly went to the store to shop for his grandchildren. He was campaigning in Michigan at the time. 

Photographer Chip Somodevilla took the photo that’s circulating widely on social media for Getty Images.

Chauvin, 45, a white officer, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25. Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck as the 46-year-old Black man lay pinned to the pavement for 9 1/2 minutes.

According to documents in state probate court, Floyd is survived by 11 known heirs, including five children and six siblings, the AP reported.


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