Social media users criticized for posing in front of damaged storefronts amid George Floyd protests
LOS ANGELES - Volunteers across the country have gathered to clean up debris and rebuild businesses in the aftermath of looting that occurred adjacent to peaceful protests which have been taking place across the U.S. The protests began in response to police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police on May 25.
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But some videos have surfaced on social media appearing to show some individuals capitalizing on a difficult time in the nation’s history with tone-deaf images of themselves posing in front of damaged buildings following protests and looting.
One woman was filmed posing in front of a damaged T-Mobile store in Santa Monica, California, on Monday, June 1, a day after protests and rioting were reported across the city.
“White women continue to disappoint. These protesters are not a content opportunity for you,” Nicole Baio, who filmed this video of the incident, wrote on Twitter. Baio can be heard in the video exclaiming that the woman was “making her boyfriend take her picture in front of a smashed T-Mobile.”
“Why do people do this it’s so embarrassing,” wrote one user. “More clout chasing,” another user replied.
In Los Angeles, many businesses were preparing to reopen following months of closures implemented to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, but some shop owners awoke the morning of May 31 to broken windows and vandalized buildings, some cleaned out and set ablaze by looters overnight.
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Round Two, a popular vintage clothing store with multiple locations in the U.S., was slated for a reopening in Los Angeles, but instead of customers arriving Sunday morning, residents showed up to help clean up the mess left behind by looters, FOX 11 Los Angeles reported.
Another video apparently recorded in Santa Monica showed a separate woman appearing to stop a worker from boarding up a store asking to hold the worker’s drill for a photo opportunity.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who directed the Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” re-posted the video writing the caption “You know what? I’m... I think I’m gonna put Twitter away for a few minutes before I throw this phone across the room.”
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“Love how she removes the mask when the camera is done, too. Performative social justice and performative disease prevention,” one user wrote, responding to the video.
Even the former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, weighed in on the video.
“Wow, that’s vile,” Shaub wrote.