Amy Klobuchar didn't pose with 'defund the police' protestors; image was altered | Fact check

The claim: Image shows Amy Klobuchar with 'defund the police' protestors

A Feb. 19 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) shows a screenshot of two posts shared by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota about three shooting victims. Beside it is a photo of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Klobuchar posing with people appearing to hold "defund the police" signs. Klobuchar is circled in red.

"Klobuchar, Ellison and Flanagan," reads part of the post's caption. "Which is it Amy Klobuchar????? You never let a tragedy go to waste."

Similar versions of the claim were shared on Facebook and X, formerly Twitter.

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Our rating: Altered

The "defund the police" signs were digitally added to the second image. The original photo shows the senator at a political party meeting.

Signs edited into picture of political party meeting

Two police officers and a paramedic were fatally shot on Feb. 18 while responding to a domestic violence call in Burnsville, Minnesota, about 15 miles south of downtown Minneapolis. Hundreds gathered at a candlelight vigil that night outside City Hall to remember the three men.

The screenshotted Facebook posts attributed to Klobuchar are authentic. But the image of the senator appearing to show "defund the police" signs is digitally edited.

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The original picture, which was shared on X by Ellison in October 2022, doesn't show any signs. The group was gathered to show support for Minnesota's branch of the Democratic party, called the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, or "DFL," according to the post's caption.

"Minnesotans are fired up to elect DFLers up & down the ballot who will protect their personal freedoms, make sure they take home every $ they earn, protect them from corporate fraud and protect our multiracial democracy," part of the caption reads.

Klobuchar and Ellison are part of the DFL party.

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, another member, shared a picture of the gathering from a different angle on X the next day, as seen by the matching clothes worn by her and all of the attendees. No signs or "defund the police" items are shown in the photo.

Jane Meyer, a spokesperson for Klobuchar, told USA TODAY the sentiment behind the altered image is also untrue.

"Senator Klobuchar strongly and publicly opposed the defund the police measure in Minnesota, has repeatedly made clear she opposes defunding the police and is, in fact, the longtime lead author of the bipartisan bill in Congress which funds police," Meyer said in her email.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Lead Stories, Reuters and Check Your Fact also debunked the claim.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Jane Meyer, Feb. 21, Email exchange with USA TODAY

  • Keith Ellison, Oct. 16, 2022, X post

  • Peggy Flanagan, Oct. 17, 2022, X post

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Defund the police' signs added to Amy Klobuchar picture | Fact check