Fact Check

Two White Men Doused with Gasoline, Set on Fire by BLM

A video showing two men on fire was shared with the false claims that it involved the Black Lives Matter movement and that the mainstream media were ignoring the story.

Published Sept. 30, 2016

Two white men were doused in gasoline and set on fire by Black Lives Matter members, and the story was "censored" by the media.
What's True

Cellphone video captures a December 2015 incident in which a man was charged with having set fire to two of his co-workers after an argument.

What's False

The incident had nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement or any form of racial protest and was reported on by news media at the time.

On 27 September 2016, the web site USATwentyFour.com published an article reporting that two white men had been doused in gasoline and set on fire by members of the Black Lives Matter movement near Baltimore:

Two White Men Doused With Gasoline, Set On Fire By BLM Near Baltimore

Two white males were doused with gasoline and set on fire by a black male co-worker in Baltimore County. Both victims were severely injured. The media is censoring the story.

In addition to falsely connecting this video to a racial dispute involving the Black Lives Matter movement, USATwentyFour.com also falsely claimed that the media were "censoring" the story.

The video shown above captured the gruesome and violent results of an altercation between co-workers that took place in December 2015, in which a one man reportedly ended up dousing two others with gasoline and setting them on fire:

Police say a Maryland man was arrested after he allegedly doused two men with gasoline and set them on fire.

Christopher Harrison Jr., 28, is accused of setting two coworkers on fire after an argument escalated.

Investigators say four men left work in different cars, but when one car broke down, the co-workers went to a nearby truck stop for fuel. The store clerk, who did not wish to be identified, [said] that he turned the suspect away because he did not have the right gas can.

Somehow, the suspect had still managed to get some fuel, reports the station.

On the drive, investigators say the men started fighting. Harrison then allegedly poured gasoline on at least two people and lit them on fire, reports CBS Baltimore.

A police official told the station that one victim suffered burns on over 60 percent of his body and the other person was burned over 90 percent — to the point where his clothes were completely burned away.

Police were called to the scene just before 5 p.m., where they found the victims running frantically and calling out for help, according to the station.

Harrison was arrested after police say they received a tip. He is charged with attempted first-degree murder, as well as first-and-second-degree assault.

The investigation is ongoing, with police trying to determine what led up to the fight.

Both victims are reportedly in critical condition at an area hospital. The fourth man involved is not considered a suspect.

A wide range of mainstream media news outlets — local, national, and international — covered the story at the time it occurred, including  Fox News, CBS News, Britain's Daily Mail, and the Baltimore Sun.

None of the news accounts of the incident mentioned the Black Lives Matter movement or any form of racial protest in connection with the story, nor suggested that the races of the perpetrator and the victims was in any way a factor in what occurred. In fact, news reports quoted a co-worker as saying that the perpetrator had an ongoing workplace dispute with one of the victims, and they had agreed to settle the issue with a fight:

The incident started as a workplace dispute. Friends said it was supposed to be settled with a fistfight, but the confrontation took a violent turn. The incident was captured in a graphic video that was shared online.

"We were recording for a fight," said David Widener, who recorded the video and posted it online.

[Co-worker Anthony] Rodriguez [said] that Harrison had an ongoing dispute with one of the victims.

"They kept pushing him and pushing him, saying that they wanted to fight him," Rodriguez said.

"They had agreed to settle it. Nothing besides that was said, even leading up to the altercation. They both took their shirts off and appeared like they were going to fight," Widener said.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.