A Republican candidate running for a St. Louis-area House seat has published a 23-page document outlining a conspiracy theory that the footage of George Floyd‘s death in police custody, which has ignited weeks of protests, was staged to inflame racial tensions.
“We conclude that no one in the video is really one person but rather they are all digital composites of two or more real people to form completely new digital persons using deepfake technology,” Winnie Heartstrong, who is running against Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Pence visits Orlando as all 50 states reopen The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Mnuchin, Powell: Economy may need more boost; Trump defends malaria drug MORE (D-Mo.), wrote.
The document, which Heartstrong claims was written with the aid of “citizen investigators,” alleges Floyd died long before May 25. It also repeats a conspiracy theory that Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s death, is in fact “Cash Cab” host Ben Bailey.
Heartstrong also wrote, “We urge President TrumpDonald John TrumpBowman holds double-digit lead over Engel in NY primary McGrath leads Booker in Kentucky with results due next week NY Republican Chris Jacobs wins special election to replace Chris Collins MORE to open an investigation into these claims to help resolve the issue of deepfake technology once and for all.
Heartstrong’s only current primary opponent is podcaster and comedian Anthony Rogers, who touts endorsements from notorious horror movie director Uwe Boll and Trump associate Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone requests delay of prison start date, citing pandemic concerns Stone received ‘favorable treatment’ because of relationship with Trump, former prosecutor will testify Push to oust Manhattan attorney sparks fresh crisis for DOJ MORE. Rogers wrote a 2014 Thought Catalog post saying Michael Brown had been doing “hood rat shit” at the time of his death in Ferguson, Mo.
Clay is heavily favored to win regardless of who is ultimately his Republican opponent, with The Cook Political Report ranking the district as D+29. He won his 2018 election with 80 percent of the vote.
“They’re going to take the ass-whupping, so it don’t make no difference,” Mike Jones, a St. Louis political analyst and race and politics columnist for The St. Louis American, told The Daily Beast, which first reported the story. “And the lucky one might be the one that lost [the primary].”
Updated: 7:49 p.m.