Police officials’ amplification of ‘antifa bus’ hoax rumors in summer 2020 bodes ill for future

3 months ago 61

The infamous “antifa buses” hoax that hit multiple rural and exurban communities in the summer of 2020 was in many regards a series of comical events, with pickup-driving, banner-waving, gun-toting “Patriots” swarming their towns in futility because they believed an army of black-clad leftists were en route to lay waste to their communities. It all had the feel of a practice run for the civil war that so many of them eagerly anticipate.

Its most disturbing aspect, however, was the role and behavior of law enforcement throughout the episode, as well as in subsequent similar hoaxes a few months later involving supposed “antifa arsons” along the West Coast—namely, giving the hoax rumors official imprimatur by spreading them on social media and in police communications with other offices. That behavior was made clear in documents published last year, which revealed the extensive role of local and state police in spreading the panic in northern California.

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