On Tuesday, a Chicago firefighter named Kevin O’Grady posted this photo to Facebook, claiming it showed Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson’s injuries following his shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. He demanded to know why “the media” was not releasing this photo in the aftermath of the shooting. Over the course of two days, the post was shared more than 40,000 times.
The only problem? That man isn’t Officer Darren Wilson. In fact, he doesn’t even look very much like him:
It was a commenter on the site Little Green Footballs that first debunked the hoax, discovering that the photo was actually of freestyle motocross rider Jim McNeil who died in 2011 after he suffered a crash during practice. The photo is from an earlier injury McNeil suffered in 2006.
Media outlets, including Fox News, have been reporting that Wilson sustained a fractured eye socket during his supposed physical confrontation with Brown since shortly after the incident occurred. CNN later disputed that account, citing sources that said Wilson’s x-rays came back negative for any facial fractures.