QAnon Supporters React to Derek Chauvin Sentence: 'Not the Same Guy From the Trial'

Believers of the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed skepticism that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd, was actually the "same guy" after his sentencing hearing on Friday.

QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory, which claims that former President Donald Trump has been fighting against a Satanic cabal of Democrats and Hollywood elites who sexually abuse and sacrifice children in bizarre cult practices in their pursuit of world domination. Recent polling by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core found that 15 percent of Americans believe in QAnon—the same amount as some major religions.

After Chauvin's sentencing hearing on Friday, supporters of QAnon posted to a Telegram channel for believers, expressing their skepticism that the former police officer was actually the person that had appeared in court.

"Who the f*** is that? That's not the same guy from the trial," one person identifying as Ray A wrote, according to screenshots posted to Twitter.

"How many Chauvins are there?" another Telegram user going by the handle BeWater wrote.

Some responses from the QAnon world regarding Derek Chauvin today. (Telegram) pic.twitter.com/LcfUE4FIGM

— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 26, 2021

A user going by the name Rose Watschke wrote: "His hair color seems to change everytime you see him. Facial features are significantly different too. Do you think the brainwashed people see it."

"This Chauvin looks NOTHING like the original," a Telegram user in the QAnon channel, who identified themselves only as Christine, wrote.

"Derek did not commit suicide. We all know who killed him," a conspiracy theorist commented on an Instagram clip from the sentencing hearing.

Chauvin murdered Floyd, an unarmed Black man, on May 25 of last year, after he and other officers responded to a report that he had attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Video of the incident quickly went viral online, showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as the man repeatedly said he could not breathe. Onlookers also urged Chauvin to stop pinning Floyd to the ground, but the former police officer ignored their concerns.

On Friday, a judge in Minnesota sentenced Chauvin to 22 and a half years behind bars for the murder. Chauvin was convicted by a grand jury back in April. He was found guilty of all charges, which included second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd's murder led to a massive wave of Black Lives Matter and anti-racism demonstrations across the country and around the world last summer, as activists demanded an end to systemic racisim in the justice system.

QAnon
Believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed skepticism that the real Derek Chauvin actually appeared in court for his sentencing on Friday. In this photo, supporters of formerPresident Donald Trump fly a U.S. flag with a QAnon as they gather to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The QAnon conspiracy theory inspired many Trump supporters to travel to Washington, D.C. on January 6 and participate in the violent insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. Animated by their belief in QAnon, as well as Trump's false claims about the 2020 election, they violently attempted to overturn President Joe Biden's victory. Federal prosecutors have thus far arrested about 500 people in connection with that attack.

Newsweek reached out to Chauvin's defense attorney for comment.