A photo appearing to show a member of Antifa hitting a police officer during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is fake.
The photo showing the man hitting a police officer with what appears to be a flag was photoshopped with the anti-fascist logo onto the person’s jacket in the photo.
The doctored image surfaced online shortly after white nationalist, Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last week that left about 20 people injured and one person dead. The image was shared widely by Trump supporters and alt-right groups that are opposed to the anti-fascist group Antifa.
The image has been shared across social media as a way to support the recent claims made by members of the alt-right about counterprotesters and other groups contributing to the violence at the demonstration. The photo was also meant to suport President Trump’s recent statements claiming “many sides” were involved in the violence that happened in Charlottesville.
Snopes.com determined the photo was actually shot in 2009 during a violent clash between police and protesters in Athens, Greece and not during a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The caption for the original photograph, taken by photographer Milos Bicanski, reads:
“Greek youths clash with riot police during a demonstration commemorating the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos' by police a year ago, on December 6, 2009, in central Athens, Greece. Two police officers will go on trial in the new year for the murder of Grigoropoulos.”
In the original photo, there is nothing on the back of the person's jacket. Virginia Republican Party organizer Scott Presler was one of the many people who tweeted out the photo earlier this week.
He later deleted the tweet, but a version of it remains on the web page archival website Archive.is.