The Washington Post falsely claimed George Floyd was shot and killed while in police custody in a tweet posted nearly two years to the day of the Minneapolis Black man’s murder.
“On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was shot and killed in police custody. His death sparked outrage, wide scale protests and calls to change policing. Two years later, was has—or hasn’t changed,” The Washington Post Monday tweet read, with a link for readers to submit their thoughts.
The tweet was swiftly deleted and approximately 40 minutes later was replaced with a new tweet, simply asking, “Tell the Post: How have things changed in your community since George Floyd’s death?”
At the same time, The Post followed up with another tweet that noted how a “previous tweet” for the reader submission form “included language that was changed” after publication.
The Post did not specify what the previous tweet was, and did not indicate that it included false information.
The language used in the initial tweet was also briefly found on The Post’s website where the reader submission page was also promoted..
Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who, in videos taken from bystanders and police cams, was seen putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes after Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using counterfeit money. International outrage erupted over images of Floyd’s death and spurred protests, riots and calls for police reform.
A panel of jurors found Chauvin guilty 13 months after Floyd’s death for unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The Post came under blistering criticism for the mistake, given the infamy of Floyd’s death.