A recent video shows a cop dressed as a member of “antifa” exposing himself after being called out.
The video, shared to Twitter by @davenewworld_2, shows a person dressed in dark attire. His dark clothing, paired with a hood and black facial covering, invoke right-wing media's portrayal of antifa. But the man is in no way affiliated with antifa or any supposedly left-wing group. He's a cop.
The short clip shows the black-clad man leaning against a pole, apparently minding his own business. The man filming approaches him to ask his purpose.
"You antifa?" the man filming asks right away. In response, the black-clad man shrugs and says he is "just a regular guy" who is "hanging out" outside the building.
The man filming explains that he lives in the building and is uncomfortable about the hooded man's presence.
"We don't like motherfuckers like you around here," he says. When asked for clarity, he adds, "Like little fucking assholes who look like they want to start a fight."
The cameraman says neither he nor his neighbors are comfortable with the supposed antifa member's continued presence. As the video concludes, the man in black nods and begins walking away. Passing the camera, he lifts his shirt and flashes a badge, secured to his hip.
The video has earned a combined 7,000 retweets and quote tweets and more than 14,000 likes. The comment section shows a predictable divide in opinions, as many people defended the cop's motivation while others condemned him.
Antifa refers broadly to a group of antiracist, antifascist protesters who have gained new prominence in the wake of national Black Lives Matter protests. Antifa is not a singular organization but an ideology adopted by multiple groups. Many commenters pointed out this distinction and noted that the right has largely hijacked the idea of antifa while unpacking the video.
"Antifa has been used as the scary boogeyman by Trump, Barr, and conservatives to take peoples eyes off of right wing groups and cops that stoke violence and cause chaos," user @LCSeward wrote. "Those groups often cosplay as Antifa to create propaganda and disinformation."
Many commenters shared this sentiment. People called out the cop for disguising himself as antifa and claimed that police are largely responsible for the escalating violence in many parts of the country.
Many people believed the cop was there to instigate and argued that police are the real threat in the United States.
Not all viewers shared this perspective, however. A number of people noted that the officer was likely undercover. They pointed to his casual stance and the fact that he walked away as proof that he was only there to keep things civil.
Many Twitter users also lauded the man filming for stepping up to defend his community.
A few people pointed out that the dark-clad man may have merely been impersonating a cop. While the flashed badge looks real enough, several people felt his behavior was not in line with a typical New York cop.
"Undercovers aren't supposed to just reveal it like that," one user wrote. "It's not tough to get a fake badge that looks good enough from a distance either. So I dunno, incompetent undercover or police impersonator?"