Misleading Viral Video of Police Beating Protester is Actually From Serbia

Social media users have condemned those who've shared a video showing police officers attacking civilians on the street without clarifying the footage was not filmed in the U.S.

The clip, which has been viewed more than 1.1 million times online, was originally posted by @Andy_Resist_, who tweeted "I really can't find the good police," along with the footage.

The vidoe shows several officers in riot geat beating a man while lies on the ground beofre being picked up and left by the side of a road by three more officers.

The user tweeted the clip along with other recent viral videos showing controversial police actions, including one where officers knocked a man out of his wheelchair in Los Angeles.

In a follow-up tweet, @Andy_Resist_ added: "I have never said this is America," after being criticized for not straight away pointing out the clip was not filmed in the U.S.

The footage is believed to have been filmed in Belgrade, Serbia, although it is not clear when it took place.

There were violent scenes earlier this month as police in Belgrade clashed with anti-government, far-right protesters angry at the plans to reintroduce a coronavirus lockdown.

Actor and filmmaker Andy Ostroy was also criticized for sharing the clip to his near 80,000 followers on Twitter without specifying where it comes from.

The video has been widely shared amid heightened tensions between protesters and police officers in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.

Footage has also recently emerged of unidentifiable agents using excessive force and manhandling protesters into unmarked vehicles in Portland, Oregon.

Anyone who can’t understand how Hitler got his citizens to commit atrocities...and think it can’t happen here...just watch. This is some seriously terrifying police brutality that 6 months form now could be a whole lot worse... pic.twitter.com/sB5XbHjEUm

— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) July 22, 2020

"Anyone who can't understand how Hitler got his citizens to commit atrocities...and think it can't happen here... just watch," Ostroy tweeted. "This is some seriously terrifying police brutality that 6 months from now could be a whole lot worse..."

During several replies to the post which has been retweeted more than 11,000 times, Ostroy said the country of origin for the video "is moot," adding: "We've witnessed the same kind of brutality on our own American streets.

"The point is how quickly, under the right circumstances, this kind of brutality can turn into something way more chilling."

Former FBI agent turned lawyer and CNN analyst Asha Rangappa was one of those who said Ostroy should have clarified where the clip was from straight away.

"The problem is that these uncontextualized videos are deliberately placed into our media ecosystem to foment outrage... just worth being careful so you don't get swept up in disinfo ops from bad actors (plenty of stuff to be outraged about as it is!)"

Former writer for Time magazine Sam Frizell added: "This is horrible, but also misleading and dishonest of you not to note the location."

Seattle based reporter Brandi Kruse also said it is "inflammatory and irresponsible" of Ostroy to not include the location of the brutality in his original post.

In a follow-up tweet, Ostroy said: "The main criticism of this tweet (by typically brutality-denying conservatives) is that it's making people believe this is America.

"The fact that it's so hard to tell the diff right now between U.S. and Serbia is exactly my point..."

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Police beat a protester as thousands of Serbians demonstrate outside parliament after the reintroduction of the coronavirus lockdown on July 7, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. Twitter users have condemned those sharing a video showing police officers attacking civilians without clarifying it was filmed in Serbia. Martyn Aim/Getty