Twitter has been ablaze with a series of photos and posts with the hashtag HarveyLootCrew that attempt to portray out-of-control looting during Hurricane Harvey by members of the black community or Black Lives Matter.
However many of these photos have turned out to be fake in an attempt to stir racial hatred and fear amidst the rescue attempts and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
In most cases, fake or “troll” Twitter accounts tweeted older photos showing looters from previous years or in different situations and claimed they were taken recently during Hurricane Harvey.
This photo actually shows looting in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.
This photo wasn’t even taken in the United States, rather the UK during the London riots in 2011
This photo actually shows a fight that occurred during the notorious Black Friday sales in 2015.
This photo was taken during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
As with nearly all major hurricanes that make land and cause substantial damage in the United States, there has indeed been instances of looting and storm related crimes in the week following Hurricane Harvey, though not to the extent that these fake Twitter trolls are trying to portray.
The Harris County office estimated around 63 arrests from the day after the storm hit to September 1st. However there has been no confirmation on the demographics of the looters, their ethnicity or whether any or most were affiliated with the Black Lives Matter cause.