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A Photo Being Shared Online Showing A Black Police Officer Protecting Ku Klux Klan Members Is From A Previous Racist Rally

People are claiming the photo shows a black police officer protecting Ku Klux Klan members at Saturday's rally, but it's actually from a different white supremacist protest.

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Updated on

An image being shared online that people are claiming shows a black police officer guarding Saturday's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is actually from July.

Ubadah Sabbagh / Twitter / Via Twitter: @Neubadah

This tweet from Saturday, which already has over 100,000 shares, shows a picture of a black cop standing in front of a white supremacist rally and incorrectly claims it's from Saturday's rally.

The image pictures Officer Darius Ricco Nash, who confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the viral photo is of him and that it was taken at a July 8 white supremacist rally. "We were assigned to make sure no one got hurt or attempted to cross the fence to either side," Nash told BuzzFeed News.

Jill Mumie / Via instagram.com

Nash declined to elaborate on how he felt about the strong reaction to the photo, saying he couldn't give his personal opinion.

One of the earliest uploads of the image to social media is from July 9 by Keven Quillon, who wrote that Nash is his niece's husband. Quillon described the officer as "one of our living heroes," and said he was ashamed of the KKK rally in Charlottesville. In the post, Quillon described Nash as having "to stand there all day ... and hear hate filled comments from the members of the KKK" as well as "hate and disgust from members of the public."

Kimberly Payne Hawk uploaded the same image to Facebook on July 10 with a different caption, and her post received over 20,000 reactions.

Kimberly Payne Hawk / Facebook / Via facebook.com

Hawk told BuzzFeed News that she saw the photo on the Instagram of Jill Mumie, to whom BuzzFeed News also reached out for more context.

An article from KTVU reporter Frank Somerville said Hawk had been getting harassed by "mean, angry people" after the image went viral.

"On Monday, I saw a photo from the KKK rally that moved me and I posted it," Hawk told KTVU last month. "I do not care about the rude comments towards me, but I am becoming quite irritated at the attacks on our local police officer."

"He is getting attacked for being an African American police officer who was protecting the free speech rights of the Klan and I am getting accused of being a supporter of racism because my sister is a police officer," Hawk added.

Tim Hogan, who worked for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and is now the national press secretary for a Washington, DC, nonprofit, shared the image on Saturday with the caption "a picture worth a thousand words." It garnered over 30,000 likes before he deleted the original tweet and acknowledged the image was posted in July.

Tim Hogan / Twitter / Via Twitter: @timjhogan

Before he deleted his original tweet, Hogan also tweeted that he was not sure about the full context of the image.

So even though some thought the image was from Saturday's march, there was actually another white supremacist rally in Charlottesville on July 8, 2017, which the image is from.

Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, is the site of a controversial Confederate statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, which the local government has debated removing, and which has become the site of white supremacist rallies and counterprotests.

Chet Strange / Getty Images

More than 1,000 people descended on Charlottesville to counterprotest the July 8 rally, which drew about 50 KKK members. Police used tear gas on the crowd and 22 people were arrested, USA Today reported.

In May, the park was also the site of an infamous torch-wielding protest, which was attended by more than 100 people.

But it’s not the first time there’s been an example of a black cop helping a white supremacist at a rally. A photo went viral in 2015 that shows South Carolina Police Chief Leroy Smith helping an overheated white supremacist.

not an uncommon example of humanity in SC: Leroy Smith helps white supremacist to shelter & water as heat bears down.

The picture was taken by Associated Press photographer Rod Godfrey.

As people online pointed out, there are enough white supremacists, KKK, and neo-Nazi rallies that it's easy enough to pull these pictures from past events, but this particular picture is not from Saturday's rally in Charlottesville.

There's enough Klan rallies to go around that you can attribute dates and events correctly OR you can sharebait hustle your way to virality.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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