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Fact check: Photo shows Seattle crowd protesting BLM, not mail-in voting

Thousands of users on social media are sharing an aerial photograph of a crowd of people, misleadingly alleging it shows a protest demanding mail-in voting in Seattle. The image has been miscaptioned. It actually shows a Black Lives Matter protest in the city on June 6, 2020.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

One Facebook post shared over 11,270 times is visible here . Other iterations of this claim are visible here and here .

The claim started circulating on Twitter on August 16, according to the earliest iteration Reuters could find ( archive.vn/RUYey ). The tweet, which has been retweeted over 23,200 times, features the miscaptioned image and says, “AND THAT’S THE WAY IT IS… Thousands of Seattle Democrats gather to demand mail-in voting because it’s too dangerous to vote in-person.” Some iterations of the claim on Facebook and Instagram feature a screenshot of the widely shared tweet ( here , here ).

The miscaptioned image actually shows a Black Lives Matter protest in West Seattle Junction on June 6, 2020 weeks after the death of George Floyd (see Reuters coverage here , here ).

Paul Weatherman, the photographer who captured the image in the claims, originally shared it on his Twitter account along with other aerial shots of that day ( here ).

The photograph was featured in a local media report on the event entitled “West Seattle Junction fills with sea of protesters affirming ‘Black Lives Matter!” ( here )

Other local media reported here that “a crowd of several thousand people” protested the death of George Floyd. The organizers described the event as a “peaceful protest to let our voices be heard and support everyone being oppressed in the Black community.” ( here )

In recent days, demonstrators have protested outside the homes of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in Washington, D.C. ( here ) and North Carolina ( here ) amid growing concerns that he is gutting the U.S. Postal Service to help President Donald Trump win reelection in November.

VERDICT

Partly False. This miscaptioned photograph shows a BLM protest in Seattle in June 2020, and not a mail-in voting protest on a different date.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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