Video of protestors setting police officer on fire in Mexico in 2020 linked to Israel-Hamas war

By: Rahul Adhikari
October 31 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Video of protestors setting police officer on fire in Mexico in 2020 linked to Israel-Hamas war

Social media posts claiming that the video shows anti-Israel protestors setting a police officer on fire in London. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral video was recorded in 2020 in Jalisco, Mexico, during an anti-police protest. It is unrelated to the Israel-Hamas war.

Claim ID b5ea79b1

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters recently marched in London and across the U.K. to call for an end to the Israeli attack on Gaza. Police estimated that around 70,000 protesters gathered with flags and banners in London on October 28, demanding an end to the Israel-Hamas war. According to reports, the death toll has reached 8,005 in Gaza, and more than 1,400 people have died in Israel since October 7.

What is the claim?

A video has been circulating on social media with the claim that it shows a police officer being set on fire during an anti-Israel protest in London. The viral clip shows a group of protesters setting a police officer, sitting on a motorbike alongside other police officers, on fire. The officer falls off the bike after his uniform catches fire, and other police officers quickly extinguish the flames. 

Multiple users posted the video on X (formerly Twitter), accusing Muslims of being terrorists, protesting against Israel, and shouting anti-Jewish chants. The post has gained over 47,000 views, 979 likes, and more than 1,100 reposts. Archived versions of the viral posts can be found here and here.

Screenshot of the viral posts on X. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts) 

However, the video dates back to 2020 and shows an anti-police protest in Mexico. The viral clip is unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

What did we find?

We reviewed the video carefully and found that the police officer whose clothes were set on fire had a Mexican flag on his uniform, indicating that the police officer was likely from Mexico.  

Comparison between the police badge in the viral video and the Mexico police badge. (Source: X/Getty Images/Modified by Logically Facts)

We found that the video was recorded during a protest in 2020 in the Mexican state of Jalisco. People were protesting the death of a man named Giovanni Lopez in police custody. Lopez was reportedly arrested and beaten to death for not wearing a face mask in public. 

We found that the viral video was published on a YouTube channel named "On Demand News" on June 6, 2020. The YouTube video featured multiple clips of protests; the viral video can be seen at the 0:06 to 0:20 timestamp of this video. The video's description stated that a police officer was set on fire during a protest against the death of Giovanni Lopez in custody. The police officer suffered minor injuries and escaped, the description added. 

(Source: On Demand News/YouTube)

We also found the viral video in a video news report dated June 5, 2020, published by New England Cable News (NECN). The viral video featured between 0:12 to 0:26 timestamp of the video report. The report stated that the police officer was set on fire during a protest over the death of Lopez in police custody, and in addition to the attack, two police vehicles were set on fire. 

Media outlet Al Jazeera also published a similar 2:28-long video report on June 5, 2020, featuring the viral video between 1:12 to 1:20 timestamp. The report, titled “Mexico police set on fire during protests against fatal beating,” added that the police had denied the use of excessive force. 

Upon comparison, we found that the viral video clip is a laterally inverted version of the original video.

Comparison between the viral video and the original video. (Source: X/On Demand News/Modified by Logically Facts) 

Two landmarks, a McDonald's restaurant and "Universitario Azteca" written on a building in the original video, also seen in the viral video, allowed us to geo-locate the place of the incident seen in the viral video as 354 Av Juárez in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico.

Comparison between the "Universitario Azteca" landmark in the viral video and Google Street View. (Source: X/Google Maps/Modified by Logically Facts)

Comparison between the McDonald's location in the viral video and Google Street View. (Source: X/Google Maps/Modified by Logically Facts)

The verdict

An old video of anti-police protests in Mexico has been shared, falsely claiming to show recent anti-Israel protests in London. The viral video was actually recorded in June 2020 in the Mexican state of Jalisco and has no connection to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before