Back to Africa Check

Video of US immigration officials ‘arresting’ a Somali man is fake – the video is from UK

A Facebook post claims US immigration officers tried to arrest a Somali man in New York City and ended up killing him.

“Trump immigration officials tried to arrest a Somalian man in New York City yesterday, see what happens,” read the post uploaded by a Nigerian Facebook user.  The video post, published on 15 August 2019, has been shared nearly 400 times and viewed over 15,000 times.

It shows policemen trying to arrest a man as he resists. At some point in the video, the man appears to be in a seizure.

But on a closer look, the video has nothing to do with the USA.



Officers are not US police


While the nationality of the man and his relationship to the woman in the video cannot be found out, a few things stick out.

One, the uniforms of the officers in the video are of the London metropolitan police force and not the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the United States Customs and Border Protection agency as claimed by the post.

Two, the officers speak with British accents and are accusing the man of assaulting a police officer. 

A third clue is the licence plates of the cars in the video which appear to be typical yellow and black British licence plates, quite unlike US number plates

Cars in the video are also driving on the left side of the road, further suggesting the video was taken in the United Kingdom. 

Readers debunked it 


A few readers were quick to comment that the video was not taken in the US.

“Looking at the police uniform, the car plate numbers and hearing the accents, this is not US. It is UK. Please stop misleading people and do your findings very well.” said one Facebook user.

“Fake headline. This police uniform does not look like the New York police. Secondly, this is not USA. Check the street and car plate number and thirdly their accent is not USA,” another user said.

London, UK, not New York City


The most compelling evidence that the video was not taken in the US was the news story link posted by another user, in the comments. 

The link is to a Guardian UK news article from July 2019 which showed the man in question, the video and the circumstances surrounding the event.

“Youness Bentahar, from Bromley in Kent [south east of London] was wrestled to the ground after he became involved in an argument with police officers on Tuesday in Poplar, east London.  He had refused to move his car… from a single yellow line,” said the Guardian. – Jennifer Ojugbeli 




 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters