Video of man vandalizing church is from 2020 and he was arrested by police

By: Naledi Mashishi
May 29 2024

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Video of man vandalizing church is from 2020 and he was arrested by police

Image: YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict Misleading

A video depicting a man ripping a crucifix off a church is from 2020 and the man was subsequently arrested and charged by police.

Claim ID f031a286


A video published on both YouTube and TikTok on May 20, 2024 claims to show "shocking police bias" in the way that police treat people of different faith backgrounds. 

The video depicts a man, identified by his YouTube account as Paul Thorpe, speaking into the camera and introducing two clips. The first shows an unidentified man on a church roof trying to remove a large cross. The man is yelling incoherently while another man off camera calls him a vandal. 

"Now you don't need me to tell you what the reaction would be if that were one of ours doing that to a local mosque," says Thorpe. "The police would be all over it and so would everyone else ... but because it's a church, nobody touches it. Nobody picks it up."

The second clip appears to have been taken at a pro-Palestinian march held in London on Saturday, May 18. A man wearing a keffiyeh gets into an altercation with a second man he is filming. He moves the second man's hand away and is shoved by him in turn. Multiple police officers then restrain and appear to arrest the second man. 

"Now guys, if that doesn't motivate you to get your backsides into London ... to march with us against two-tier policing in the Metropolitan police, then nothing will,” Thorpe says. 

The video has also been reshared multiple times on Facebook. 

It is worth noting that the religious backgrounds of the people concerned in both clips are not explicitly clear. The man in the first clip does not appear to identify himself with a particular religion. Keffiyehs are traditional Middle Eastern patterned scarves associated with the pro-Palestinian movement and are often worn by those who support the Palestinian cause regardless of their individual ethnic or religious background.  

Nonetheless, we looked into the first incident and found the claims about it are misleading. The video is from 2020, and the man who vandalized the church was arrested shortly afterward and subsequently charged. 

What we found

On October 19, 2020, news outlets reported on a viral video on social media depicting a man trying to rip a large crucifix from a church in east London. The church was identified as Chadwell Heath Baptist Church.

According to The Standard, the man was subsequently tackled by the reverend who held him until the police arrived shortly after. The man was then arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and the crucifix was recovered. The police reportedly published a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter), confirming they had arrested the man in connection with the vandalism, but the original statement is no longer available. 

Local papers later identified the man as 19-year-old Yussef Alwali. He was charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage. 


A YouTube video shows two video clips and claims that the clips are evidence of a two-tier policing system in which the Metropolitan police do nothing to those who are committing crimes against Christian establishments but are quick to arrest those who commit crimes against Muslims. It claims that the first clip shows a man who vandalized a church and was not arrested for it. However, the clip is of a 2020 incident and the man who vandalized the church was arrested and charged shortly after the video was taken. We have therefore rated this claim as misleading.

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