A video showing masked robbers raiding a gun store in Houston, Texas, smashing showcases and stealing a large number of firearms in the process, was posted on a popular Facebook group page known by Chinese speakers as Di Bar (帝吧), or Li Yi Bar, on Tuesday.
The post (archived here) claims that the clip shows protesters who are part of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S., sparked by the death of George Floyd in May.
The caption in Chinese says, ”Such a disturbing scene of rioting. The Houston gun shop was robbed and killings are inevitable.”
But the claim is false. The footage actually shows a robbery in Houston that took place more than four years ago, on March 1, 2016, at a branch of Carter’s Country Guns & Ammo.
The video is a part of a security footage sequence edited by Euronews back in 2016. The original footage was supplied by Crime Stoppers in Houston, two days after the robbery.
The clip posted by Di Bar on Tuesday was viewed more than 61,600 times in two days and shared by other Facebook groups as well (for example, here).
Di Bar is a pro-China netizens group estimated to have more than 20 million members in total. It is known for attacking opposing views online. In 2016, the group flooded Taiwanese President-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s Facebook pages with anti-Taiwan messages.
Many comments on the video mocked American freedom and democracy while a few pointed out that the footage appears to be unrelated to current events.
Back in 2016, NBC News reported that 50 weapons were stolen from the store. A year later, two suspects were convicted of possessing stolen guns, according to a local media report. There were 10 suspects filmed by the security camera in total.