As a verdict neared, the specter of Trayvon Martin riots loomed large on Twitter, Facebook, and even in old media, and many comments were made regarding the perceived potential for unrest after what appeared to be an unpopular impending verdict in the case.
Soon after George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict, Trayvon Martin riots footage began to circulate on Twitter.
Often appended with “SMH,” or smug assertions it was predicted all along, the Trayvon Martin riots footage showed a scary scene of angry people taking to the streets after a massive disappointment. Cars burned and the video camera holder stayed well above the terrifying ruckus, as people took to the streets in protest.
One caveat though — that wasn’t actually footage of Trayvon Martin riots. That there was white people, pissed off and vandalizing because of hockey outcomes. Whoops.
No matter, though, as The Atlantic points out — another Trayvon Martin riots tape soon hit YouTube, featuring a white camera man being beaten by angry black strangers, specifically addressing the Zimmerman verdict.
Conservatives rejoiced! Finally, proof positive riots, had happened, right? The blogger responsible not only posted the now-deleted footage, but also claimed first-hand knowledge.
“One of our own reporters hit the streets last night to see what people thought of the verdict… Violence ensued.”
The post continues:
“Our reporter approached a group of young black men, and asked them what they thought of the verdict. Soon after asking just a few questions, they decided to physically attack him… After the incident our reporter and cameraman quickly left the scene. Thankfully, everyone is okay now.”
Interestingly, the footage has disappeared from YouTube, but most Trayvon Martin riots commenters opined the clip was clearly faked — not all though:
… his first mistake was asking a bunch of yard apes an opinion on the rule of law.they only thing yard apes care about is free money and whitey paying for their sh*t, they are too lazy and too stupid to earn a decent living.
It’s not clear why the Trayvon Martin “riots” footage was deleted by the conservative blog, but it may have something to do with the amateur “no! stop! stop!” dramatics displayed therein. Reposts, like the one above, have drawn the same doubtful comments suggesting the only footage of widely anticipated rioting was faked.
The Atlantic offered an opinion as to why the faked Trayvon Martin riots footage was perhaps so quickly withdrawn:
Embedded in this prediction is the idea that Zimmerman’s actions were justified because black people are always a second away from irrational violence.
As it stands, the Trayvon Martin riots predictions so widely and confidently made did not come to pass — but what predictably did is the ever-present idea (profiling, if you will) that Martin and his supporters look like they’re “up to no good.” We don’t know why the footage was yanked, but interesting in the aftermath is who didn’t want you to see the alleged incident on the tape.