The post was uploaded to Maya Echols’ TikTok account before it was removed, yet was re-uploaded on other social media platforms by different users.
In the video, it seems to show Echols stating, “If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced, just know that all hell is gonna break loose. Don’t be surprised when buildings are on fire. Just saying.”
Chauvin is on trial on accusations related to Floyd’s death last May. After video footage that revealed Chauvin restraining Floyd went viral on social media, mass demonstrations and brutal riots resulted in a number of U.S. cities. Minneapolis was among the hardest-hit cities, with hundreds of millions of dollars in damages being caused by rebels.
Echols has posted videos of herself wearing Black Lives Matter apparel and has voiced backing for the group in the past. According to reports, Echols is signed to IMG Worldwide as a model, and she has more than 400,000 followers on TikTok.
Through the summer demonstrations and tumults last year, many prominent Black Lives Matter activists seemed to endorse violence, arson, and looting.
Ashley Gantt, a Black Lives Matter leader in Rochester, New York, told a crowd last year: “If there was looting, if there was things on fire, that is not what is important. What is important is why these things happen.”
“I am just tired of you guys not putting the correct narrative out there,” she stated. “I don’t care if the whole city burned down. We need justice.”
Later, Gantt said that she doesn’t really want people to set the city on fire but instead wants “sustainable change, sometimes we have to do whatever it takes to get it.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil told a court throughout Chauvin’s trial officers are trained to handle combative suspects with a knee on their back or shoulders if required yet are told to “stay away from the neck when possible.”
And proceeding to kneel on Floyd’s neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, “and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced on Day Six of Chauvin’s murder trial.
Chauvin’s lawyer, though, asked Arradondo about separate video footage that seemed to show Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s shoulder, not his neck. Arradondo stated that he agreed his knee was on his neck, though prosecutors said that the clip was only a few seconds of the incident.