Old video linked to attack on London cop during pro-Palestinian protest
The actual video is from a protest against the police in Mexico in 2020.
Claim: A video shows pro-Palestinian protesters setting a police cop on fire during a rally in London.
Fact: The claim is false because the video is not of the protests taking place in London. The actual video is from a protest against the police in Mexico in 2020, where the protesters set a cop on fire.
On 7 October 2023 the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared war on Hamas on 8 October 2023.
At least 1,400 fatalities have been reported in Israel, while health officials reported that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Gaza, Palestine, according to a report by OCHA. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA, reported that over one million people, almost half the total population of Gaza, have been displaced. It is also reported that major hospitals have been bombarded. All 13 hospitals that are still operational in these areas have received repeated Israeli evacuation orders in recent days. Thousands of patients and medical staff, as well as about 117,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are staying in these facilities.
Israeli ground operations within Gaza continue alongside aerial bombings at the time of writing.
[Content warning: This fact-check contains graphic content and acts of violence. Viewer discretion is advised.]
Fact or Fiction?
On 28 October 2023, a pro-Israel, Indian user, Parnav Mishra posted a video (archived) on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, “BREAKING: Anti Israel Anti Semitic Pro terrorism protestors burn Police officer in London. Violent muslims also chant ‘Kill All Jews’ ‘We want Sharia Law in England’ ‘Kill All Infidels’. All muslims terrorists need to be deported from the UK.”
The graphic video shows a police officer getting on his bike while facing the protesters and the protesters running up and setting him on fire. It claims to show the recent demonstration in central London where about 100,000 people came out to show their support for Palestine and demand an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
Soch Fact Check investigated the claim by using reverse image search on the keyframes of the video. The results showed a news report published by CGTN on 6 June 2020 which features the same video. The incident took place in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, where protesters and police clashed after the death of, Giovanni Lopez, who was beaten up and killed in May 2020, while he was held under police custody for not wearing a mask.
A longer version of the same video was also posted by The Telegraph on YouTube on 5 June 2020. According to the video’s description, it was recorded by a Mexican journalist, Mario Marlo, who shows the protestors facing the officers. In the video, it can be seen that a police officer facing the protesters climbed on his motorcycle. A protester then ran up behind him, poured a flammable liquid and then set him on fire.
The Governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, later confirmed that the burned cop and five other officers suffered injuries during the protest. Three patrol cars were allegedly also set on fire and 24 people were arrested after the protest.
Recently, the BBC reported of a police officer getting struck over the head by a protester during a recent pro-Palestinian rally in London. However, the video under question does not show the pro-Palestinian demonstrations from London and is not linked to the recent escalations in Gaza.
Conclusion: The video of a police officer who was set on fire by a protestor, is not from a pro-Palestinian rally in London. The incident took place in 2020, in Mexico where people protested against the death of Giovanni Lopez.
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