FALSE: US President hasn’t knelt before Floyd’s son to beg for forgiveness
By Patrick Vidija | April 13th 2021
A photo of US President Joe Biden kneeling in front of a child has been widely shared on social media with claims that the president was begging forgiveness.
According to the claim, Biden was kneeling in front of a child said to be that of late George Perry Floyd Jr., an African American man killed in 2020 during an arrest after a store clerk alleged he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis.
The viral photo shared on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter was captioned: "President Joe Biden kneeling before George Floyd 's son asking for forgiveness. Humility and leadership, inseparable".
The Standard fact-checked this claim
Floyd is an African American who was killed during an arrest after a store clerk alleged he had passed a counterfeit Sh2,000 bill in Minneapolis.
Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd's neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
After his death, protests against police brutality, especially towards Black people, quickly spread across the United States and internationally.
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At the time of his death, Floyd had four siblings and five children, including two daughters (aged 6 and 22 ) and an adult son
The City of Minneapolis settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Floyd's family for Sh27 million.
The trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who knelt on Floyd's neck and back, began on March 8, 2021, with the trial of the other three officers at the scene of his death scheduled for August 2021.
Using online search tools, we found the photo had been posted numerous times, especially on Twitter.
On September 10, 2020, Reuters editor Corinne Perkins posted the photo on her Twitter.
The editor identified the boy as CJ Brown and credited the photo to Leah Mills who is a senior photographer with the news agency.
But on November 24, 2020, Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye posted the same photo on his Twitter claiming Biden, then president-elect publicly apologised to the daughter of Floyd.
Another user on November 25, 2020, posted the same photo with the same claim
The same claim resurfaced last week, this time in Kenya with several social media users making the same wrongly claim that the boy in the picture was Floyd's daughter.
However, the photo was captured when Biden, while on a campaign trail, made a brief stop at "Three Thirteen" clothing store to buy a few items for his grandchildren while visiting Detroit, Michigan.
The image is archived by Reuters with the caption: "Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to CJ Brown as he makes a brief stop at 'Three Thirteen" clothing store to buy a few items for his grandchildren while visiting Detroit...".
This photo was taken on September 9, 2020, according to Reuters.
On September 15, 2020, Biden shared the same photo on his Instagram account.
" Our children are a constant reminder of why I’m in this fight. We need to build an economy that gives them and their families a fair shot. We need to root out systemic racism so they grow up in a more just nation than we have now. We need to combat climate change so there’s a world left for them to thrive in. I believe in a better future for our children and will fight for them until the very end," read the post on Biden's page.
The Standard thus concludes that this claim is FALSE.
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