While law enforcement has concerns over looting with so many homes and businesses vacated in the Texas flood waters, there’s not an overwhelming amount of looting being reported across the social media sites today. However. fake tweets, some racist in nature, would actually have you believe that looting is a major problem if you took these posts at face value, according to Snopes.
These tweets are displaying pictures of looters, but they are from other events that date as far back as several years. A picture showing the looting of a liquor store was taken back in 2009 and one depicting a riot of looters was taken in North Carolina last year. The pictures aren’t from Texas and they are not from this year.
According to the Chicago Tribune, experts say that reports of looting are “often exaggerated after disasters,” like Hurricane Harvey. One incident that was caught on a cell phone video was viewed over 1 million times last week. A woman saw a couple of guys walk out a store carrying stuff, and one had a big screen TV. Because the video went viral, it might have seemed looting was rampant, but since August 26, a total of 63 people were charged with storm-related crimes, like burglary in a population of 5 million.
What is even worse is that many of these pictures and tweets convey hatred, with captions like “Please only loot white owned stores and stores owned by Trump supporters,” reports Snopes. Another tweet said, “We out her lootin s**t from white neighborhood.” The many tweets depicting these racist looting claims are fake and were traced back to “Jamaal Williams” (@RUthlessFCB] and “Jayrome Williams” (@BrotherTooTurnt), reports Snopes. While the tweets do appear online still because they were retweeted, the language is too harsh to post on Inquisitr, but you can go to Snopes and view the tweets in question.
Looting in Texas is bad for your health. https://t.co/6FDlllnPaX— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) August 31, 2017
Many of the tweets were copied and retweeted before they were taken down, and some of the hashtags used are “#HarveyLootcrew” and “#BrotherTooTurnt,” along with others. According to Snopes, some media outlets are reporting on these tweets as if they were real looters, which is doing nothing but spiking fear.
Many of the people posting these online messages have done so when other disasters have hit — natural and man-made disasters. A very similar tweet was posted after a shooting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that spawned protests and rioting. The same name “Jayrome Williams” appeared on that post from August of last year. Instead of #HarveyLootcrew, they used #MilwaukeeLootcrew. People in Texas are ready for looters as seen in the post below. Police have promised to up the penalties of anyone taking advantage of the situation in Texas with people displaced due to the flood waters.
The reason behind posting these fake tweets is unknown and to offer up a theory on what motivated these individuals to post tweets that promote such hatred could only be a guess because these people are still unknown. The “Jamaal Williams” and “Jayrome Williams” accounts have been taken down, according to Snopes, but there are plenty others still active and sharing this type of content.
[Featured Image by Igor Bukhlin/Shutterstock]