Fact Check

Does This Video Show 'Child Militia' Deployed in Atlanta?

A short, sketchy social media video created a misleading impression of forces called out to deal with protests in Atlanta.

Published May 30, 2020

Image Via Twitter
A video shows 'child militia' members deployed during protests in Atlanta.

During the waves of protests in American cities following the May 2020 police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a video posted via social media purported to show that "Atlanta has deployed a child militia at Lenox Mall fitted with riot shields and batons":

The Atlanta Police Department confirmed that the uniformed persons with riot shields pictured in the video were members of the Georgia National Guard, and both entities confirmed that the video depicted only adult members of the latter organization who were “all of eligible age to join.”

A Georgia National Guard spokesperson affirmed that “the rumors of underage Georgia Guardsmen are false," and that "The rumors of us having child Soldiers to assist local law enforcement in protecting lives and property is false."

The minimum age for Georgia Guardsmen is 18 (or 17 with parents' consent):

Camera angle and distance, as well as the fact that some of the pictured Guardsmen were standing on surfaces of different height, combined to create a perception of persons seemingly too physically small to be of requisite age.


Lajka, Arijeta.   "Viral Video Shows Adult Members of the Georgia National Guard, Not a ‘Child Militia.’     Associated Press.   30 May 2020.

Bicks, Emily.   "Adult National Guard Members in Atlanta Mistaken for Kids in Social Media Posts."     Heavy.   30 May 2020.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.