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Photo: ‘Barbaric’ Protest Hoax Draws Police Attention in Watsonville

Poster shared online widely denounced as a hoax

A crew from KDC Construction boards up windows at Starbucks in the Overlook Center on Main Street in Watsonville on Thursday, June 4. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

A crew from KDC Construction boarded up windows at Starbucks in the Overlook Center on Main Street in Watsonville Thursday, June 4, at noon in response to rumors of planned looting and vandalism on social media.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a poster circulated on the internet announcing a “barbaric protest” at the Overlook Center, made to look as if it had been created by activists who have been organizing in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The image was widely denounced as a hoax almost immediately. On Thursday, a caller reported to the Watsonville police that five men dressed in black and carrying bags of bricks were headed for the shopping center. Police investigated and found the call to be a hoax.  

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