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Saturday, December 3, 2016

For days leading up to the verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial, pundits speculated that there would be riots if the man who claimed to have killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense were to be found not guilty.

As of Sunday afternoon, peaceful rallies had been planned in cities across the country. But except for some broken windows and fires in Oakland, California there have been no “riots.”

This was apparently not good enough for some people, who began spreading the video above as proof of a riot in downtown Miami over Zimmerman’s acquittal. Seems legit — except there are no mountains near downtown Miami. A simple Google search would reveal that no riots had been reported in Florida or anywhere else. The video is from 2011 and it shows hockey fans rioting in Vancouver.

Twitter users and blogs began debunking the video immediately. However, the video was still posted on right-wing blog Gateway Pundit late Sunday morning. It has since been deleted.

President Obama urged restraint, respect and reflection in his statement.

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

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