United Kingdom

White teens start disgusting 'George Floyd Challenge' on social media

A new disgraceful social media trend called the ‘George Floyd Challenge’ has emerged on Snapchat showing dozens of teenagers sickeningly mocking the 46-year-old's fatal arrest in Minneapolis last week.

The participants, who are mostly white males, are seen smiling in the photos and kneeling down on their necks of their friends.

The images come as a heinous parody to the tragic death of Floyd, 46, who died last Monday after police officer Derek Chauvin put a knee in his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, ignoring his cries of ‘I can’t breathe’.

Screenshots of a number of posts re-creating the video of Floyd's death have since been shared on Twitter, drawing condemnation and disgust from thousands online.

‘As if what’s going isn’t sad enough, people are really making this a form of humor and entertainment,’ Grayson Rowles tweeted. ‘If anyone knows these people I highly recommend blurting out because “George Floyd challenge” is absolutely disgusting!!!!!!’

The first image to be shared of the so-called challenge on social media, screenshotted from Snapchat, was originally tagged with a location of Chardon, Ohio (above) 

One horrified student sent DailyMail.com a photo of one of their classmates partaking in the challenge, showing a white teenager kneeling down on the neck of a brown cow

George Floyd, 46, who died last Monday after police officer Derek Chauvin put a knee in his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, ignoring his cries of ‘I can’t breathe’. 

One horrified student sent DailyMail.com a photo of one of their classmates partaking in the challenge, showing a white teenager kneeling down on the neck of a brown cow. 

The source has not yet confirmed where the image was taken or if law enforcement have been made aware of its existence.

The first image to be shared of the so-called challenge on social media, screenshotted from Snapchat, was originally tagged with a location of Chardon, Ohio.

According to the Geauga County Maple Leaf website, the Chardon School District conducted an investigation into the photo but were unable to identify either of the teens depicted.

‘We find this post to be offensive in celebrating the death of a human being under these, or any circumstances,’ Superintendent Michael Hanlon said in a written statement. ‘And we want you to be aware that we have researched the post and have not found any connection to Chardon Schools or our students at this time.’

Chardon Police Chief Scott Niehus suggested the location of the photo provided in the original post was listed incorrectly on purpose.

‘There are instigators using social media sites to circulate rumors designed to cause chaos and disruption, and to [potentially] attract attention to communities such as ours,’ he said.

On Twitter, users shared the image to highlight their disgust, calling it a ‘complete disregard for human life’, and ‘the most disturbing and insensitive things I’ve ever seen.’ 

The participants, who are mostly male, white and appear to teenagers, are seen smiling in the photos showing them kneeling down on their friend’s necks

Grown men have also been pictured taking part in the sickening trend, with the images shared widely on Twitter

Two white female high school seniors due to attend University of Missouri and Missouri State University were forced to rescind their enrolments after they uploaded a video mocking Floyd’s killing on snapchat.

In the footage, one girl is kneeling over another, who yells that she cannot breathe as both of them laugh. 

The girl being pinned down appears to have an alcoholic beverage in her hand and the video is captioned, 'Aw [name] can’t breathe.' A third person off camera is heard cheering them on, calling out 'you can do it,' as they break out into laughter again.

The University of Missouri, which was rocked by racial protests in 2015, promptly began a civil rights investigation.

‘Given the similarity to the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the video is both shocking and disturbing,’ wrote Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri System and interim chancellor of MU, in an email to the campus community

‘University leaders and I remain committed to combating discrimination and racism in all its forms,’ Choi wrote.

Two white female high school seniors due to attend University of Missouri and Missouri State University were forced to rescind their enrolments after they uploaded a video mocking Floyd’s killing on Snapchat.

Missouri State University said that in addition to the would-be student who appeared in the video, another student who used an offensive racial slur in a social media post also withdrew

A student shared this image to Snapchat on the day of their graduation. The individual depicted was allegedly due to enroll in the Air Force 

Missouri State University said that in addition to the would-be student who appeared in the video, another student who used an offensive racial slur in a social media post also withdrew.

‘Many others have expressed anger and disbelief at the nature and tone of the hurtful social media posts,’ wrote MSU President Clif Smart in a Tuesday blog post.

Smart said the students, who are white and female, opted to withdraw after ‘recognizing the impact of the video and the social media post.’

Similarly, in the UK, three teenagers due to attend the University of Warwick were arrested in Newcastle on hate crime charges after sharing a similar photograph.

The three males all appear to be laughing in the image, with the picture captions ‘police brutality’.

There were identified by police and arrested late Sunday on ‘suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and stress.’

Similarly, in the UK, three teenagers due to attend the University of Warwick were arrested in Newcastle on hate crime charges after sharing a similar photograph

A police statement said: 'We can confirm we are investigating after an image was shared on social media which showed two men imitating the recent death of US citizen George Floyd.

'An investigation was launched and yesterday (Sunday) officers arrested two males aged 19 and another male aged 18 on suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress.

'They have since been released on bail. We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.'

The three teenagers posted the mocking Snapchat video last week, though they were forced to shut down their social media profiles after it quickly spread.

They have also reportedly started receiving death threats and are now thought to be in police protections.

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