Claim: A WhatsApp video that has been forwarded many times in Nigeria (with an accompanying message) depicts the unlawful arrest of a United States Police Sheriff’s Black son by racist police officers for driving slowly.
The caption is misleading. The video is an excerpt from a 2021 short film titled ‘Traffic Stop Gone Wrong’.
Nigerians are familiar with reports of police brutality against people of colour in the United States of America, particularly Blacks. The unfortunate death of George Floyd, who was killed during an arrest in 2020 is just a little over a year, and countless records of police brutality have since been recorded. Another Black man, Dante Wright, was killed by the police during a traffic stop on April 11, 2021.
This probably explains why many Nigerians were interested in the alleged video of a White and racist U.S. police officer who was humiliated for wrongfully arresting a Black man for driving slowly.
After watching the video, Dubawa realised that the camera shots as well as the plot did not appear like that of a true event. Dubawa collected screenshots from the viral video and ran them through available reverse image tools. While the process was futile, a keyword search conducted also did not yield any result.
Since the video carries a Tiktok user’s ID, Dubawa traced the 1 minute 20 seconds video to the Chinese App popular for sharing short videos. There, Dubawa found that the video was the third part of a five-part video shared by a TikTok user with the user name @nuella_official. She wrote her name as Århmãh Êmøjí on her TikTok account, which has over 37,000 followers and more than half a million likes on TikTok.
From the comment sections (which harbour over 1000 comments) on the 5 videos, there are arguments over the genuineness of the video. While some think the video was from a real-life event, others believe it was staged.
Dubawa furthered its search and discovered that the video does not depict a true event. The video is an excerpt from a 2021 short film titled “Traffic Stop Gone Wrong”.
The video has only four cast members. Verne Alexandre acted the role of Captain James Porter, Brewer Daniels is the racist officer – Sergeant Mike Green, Gabriell Salgado is the Rookie Officer while the role of the Captain’s son was performed by Dondre Tuck.
The video is thus a short film with didactic plots and a device to address the ills of racism in established institutions in the United States of America.
The shared video does not depict reality, it is a short film.