Republican candidate shares conspiracy theory that George Floyd murder was faked

Conspiracy alleges that nobody seen in arrest video was 'really one person', and that an ex-NBA star acted as Floyd 

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 23 June 2020 12:35 BST
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Officer ignores onlooker's calls not to let George Floyd die

A Republican candidate running for Congress has claimed that George Floyd’s murder was a hoax.

Dr. Winnie Heartstrong, who is running to represent Missouri’s 1st Congressional district, shared the theory online last week which denied Floyd died on 25 May in Minneapolis.

She wrote on Twitter that Floyd, the unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody and ignited demonstrations against racism worldwide, had instead “died in 2016”.

In an apparent attempt to denounce those demonstrations, Dr. Heartstrong wrote that “The images of George Floyd that we saw on camera on May 25, 2020 were created using deepfake technology - digital composites of two or more real persons.”

Those claims, which the Republican candidate and “academic” has tried to prove with an online report, have no basis in truth.

Titled ‘A Citizen’s Investigative Report on the Use of Deep Fake Technology’, Dr. Heartstrong wrote that the ex-NBA star Stephen Jesse Jackson “played the character of Floyd in the arrest video”.

“However, the person in the arrest video is neither Floyd nor Jackson but rather a digital composite of both men using deep fake technology”, wrote Dr. Heartstrong, who concluded that “no one in the video is really one person”.

Floyd’s death, which was videoed on surveillance cameras and multiple witnesses’ mobile phones, was confirmed with autopsy reports published earlier this month.

The 46-year-old was said to have died from cardiopulmonary arrest caused through “neck compression” and “restraint” after officer Dereck Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

In a video that Twitter was said to have banned, Dr. Heartstrong questioned why “we haven’t heard anything about the mum”, who Floyd called after as he suffocated, despite his mother passing in 2018.

Dr. Heartstrong, who wore a ‘Keep America Great’ cap in the same video, added that she wanted to comment on the black man’s death because she had taken “her first breath” in the same hospital Floyd “took his last breath”.

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