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Protestors continue to throng the streets across the USA in the wake of George Floyd death in Minneapolis. Floyd's death, which was ruled a homicide on June 1 by a county medical examiner and by an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family, sparked outrage nationwide.
Videos and images of protests and rioting have emerged on social media following the incident. One such video shows the security forces in riot gear. A particular 10-second video clip is being circulated online with the claim that US city Atlanta has deployed "child militia" to stop protesters.
"Atlanta has deployed a child militia at Lenox Mall fitted with riot shields and batons," reads the caption of the viral posts.
One such post has been viewed over 56,000 times and shared over 1000 times.
Atlanta has deployed a child militia at Lenox Mall fitted with riot shields and batons. What the actual fuck is going on? pic.twitter.com/zTtmw5mDTN— Fox Wound (@foxwoundband) May 30, 2020
Child Militia has been deployed in Atlanta, USA.
The claim is misleading.
The Atlanta Police Department confirmed to the International fact-check website Snopes that the uniformed persons with riot shields pictured in the video were members of the Georgia National Guard.
Both of these organizations confirmed that the video depicted only adult members of the Georgia National Guard who were "all of eligible age to join."
Further, the Georgia National Guard in their official Twitter account stated that rumours of child Soldiers assisting local law enforcement is false and clarified that that to become a member of the Georgia National Guard, one has to be of legal age which is 18 years old or 17 with parents' consent.
"To become a service member in the Georgia National Guard you are required to be of legal age and that is 18 years old (17 with parents consent). The rumours of us having child Soldiers to assist local law enforcement in protecting lives and property is false," reads the tweet.
To become a service member— GA National Guard (@GeorgiaGuard) May 30, 2020
in the Georgia National Guard you are required to be of legal age and that is 18 years old (17 with parents consent). The rumors of us having child Soldiers to assist local law enforcement in protecting lives and property is false. pic.twitter.com/9Eyf1qkdaJ
The police department of Atlanta retweeted this tweet.
"The rumours of underage Georgia Guardsmen are false," a Georgia National Guard spokesperson was quoted as saying.
"The rumours of us having child Soldiers to assist local law enforcement in protecting lives and property is false," he added.
Therefore, none of the uniformed persons in riot gear seen in the viral video from Atlanta is a child soldier.
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