The phrase “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” makes the Washington Post’s annual list of biggest Pinocchios of 2015.
The words became popular among protesters calling for police accountability in the aftermath of the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
According to the Washington Post:
Witness accounts spread after the shooting that Brown had his hands raised in surrender, mouthing the words “Don’t shoot” as his last words before being shot execution-style. Democratic lawmakers raised their hands in solidarity on the House floor. But various investigations concluded this did not happen—and that Wilson acted out of self-defense and was justified in killing Brown.
The phrase ended up becoming the mantra of Black Lives Matter. In 2014, members of the St. Louis Rams ran on to the field with their hands raised in support of the “hands up don’t shoot” phrase.