The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri set off a wave of protests and counter-protests, and now it appears to have sparked yet another round of hoaxes. The latest attempt at posthumously besmirching Brown’s name centers on a video that purports to show the slain teen assaulting a homeless man half his size.
Word of the video came our way via The Smoking Gun, which pointed out that a video of an assault had gone viral on Facebook. The video, distributed by a Facebook user in Canada, currently has more than 18 million views, and it claims to show the real nature of Michael Brown.
“The gentle GIANT Yeah?” the posting starts out. “Attached is a video taken from a cell phone, showing how Michael Brown… (yes, the one and the same)… treats a senior black male.”
The original poster of the video goes on to say that it shows “the fellow that all of the riots are about,” later adding that “videos don’t lie. You will not see this in the media. Pass this around so the truth can be known. It needs to be seen!”
One problem with the video, though: It doesn’t show Michael Brown.
The video in question does indeed show a pretty brutal assault of one large young man on a much smaller older man. The large young man in the video, though, isn’t Michael Brown. An uncut version of the video shows that it was filmed about 28 months ago by Rolanda Jones, a 27-year-old Texas woman, in the Woodland City Apartments complex. In Dallas, Texas.
That, of course, hasn’t stopped the video from continuing to circulate. It currently has more than 700,000 shares on Facebook, and that number continues to climb, despite the fact that the video is quite obviously yet another hoax on the social network.