The Eureka Police Department posted Wednesday night on its Facebook
page that it has forwarded information on an Instagram account to the FBI because "fake troll account" is being used to erroneously “incite conflict and controversy.”
The account, which purports to be from a young white man, began on May 11 with a photo that EPD says was “taken from our Facebook page of one of our officers.”
“Look at my dad,” the account posted next to an EPD officer’s photo. According to Brittany Powell, spokesperson for the Eureka Police Department, the officer in question doesn’t have any children.
The account didn't post another image until May 31. It shows a young man kneeling on the neck of another youth and makes reference to George Floyd, the black man whose death under the knee of a white Minneapolis Police Officer has sparked waves of protests across the nation, including in Eureka. Throughout the country, law enforcement have blamed fake social media accounts for contributing to rising tensions at the protests and, in some cases, inciting violence.
There are only eight images posted to the account, including one of a young woman the account holder claims to be his deceased mother. But several of images are of people of color and include racist statements about the images.
The most recent video posted as of last night had been viewed almost 45,000 times with 3,500 comments, many of which are hostile toward the poster and the officer EPD states is unaffiliated with the account or the poster. Another post Wednesday makes a seemingly threatening reference to Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of a mass shooting in 2012 that killed 26 people, including 20 children.
The photo of the EPD officer on the account has comments that include death threats and statements like: “Exactly why I don’t support cops look at how he raised his ignorance of a son.”
EPD says the whole account is a hoax: "The Instagram account is a fake troll account and is an obvious attempt to agitate and incite conflict and controversy."
See EPD's full Facebook post copied below:
Today we were made aware that a photo taken from our Facebook page of one of our officers was being used on an Instagram account to incite conflict.
The Instagram account is a fake troll account and is an obvious attempt to agitate and incite conflict and controversy.
We are working to have the account flagged for removal. We will be forwarding all information to the FBI for further investigation. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Thank you to all that made us aware of the issue.