St. Paul, MN – The St. Paul Police Department posted a series of tweets on Thursday to debunk a rumor that a purple gas mask-clad protester who smashed the windows at the Auto Zone on Wednesday night was actually a local police officer in disguise.
The officer who was allegedly in the video was actually at work protecting his city, and nowhere in the area of the Auto Zone in Minneapolis at the time.
“We know with precision where that officer has been and who that officer has been with,” St. Paul Police Spokesman Steve Linders said, according to The Washington Post. “He was at work, and not at the location.”
But on social media, rumors that a St. Paul police officer had started the looting continued to go viral and so the police department attempted to shut it down yet again late Thursday night.
“RUMOR CONTROL … We are aware of the social media post that erroneously identifies one of our officers as the person caught on video breaking windows in Minneapolis. We’ve seen it. We’ve looked into it. And it’s false,” the St. Paul Police Department tweeted.
“So we also want to be perfectly clear about this: The person in the video is not our officer,” the department added in a second tweet.
And just in case people were still confused about the identity of the violent protester, police clarified again in a third tweet.
“We don’t know who that person is, but we hope he’s identified and held accountable for his actions,” police wrote.
The video used to accuse the St. Paul officer had been shared almost 28,000 times by Friday evening.
“Our officer?” St. Paul police continued in a final tweet. “He’s been working hard, keeping people and property safe, and protecting the right to peacefully assemble. It’s sad that people would post and share this untrue information, adding more confusion to an already painful time in our community.”