Video Shows University of Missouri Activist Jonathan Butler Falsified Key Claim Against President

Justin L. Stewart/Columbia Missourian via AP
Justin L. Stewart/Columbia Missourian via AP

Jonathan Butler — the University of Missouri grad student who became the public face of the #ConcernedStudent1950 protests that forced the resignation of both the school’s president and chancellor — claimed several times that he was hit by a car carrying the president in early October during the school’s homecoming parade.

However, a look at video of the incident itself shows that Jonathan Butler actually rushes towards the car.

The claim of being hit by the car, a red covetable carrying President Wolfe, was significant in the protests so much so that Butler demanded an apology in the very first list of demands made by the students. The first demand reads in full (emphasis added):

We demand that the University of Missouri System President, Tim Wolfe, writes a handwritten apology to the Concerned Student 1-­9-­5-0 demonstrators and holds a press conference in the Mizzou Student Center reading the letter. In the letter and at the press conference, Tim Wolfe must acknowledge his white male privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exist, and provide a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1-9-5-­0 demands. We want Tim Wolfe to admit to his gross negligence, allowing his driver to hit one of the demonstrators, consenting to the physical violence of bystanders, and lastly refusing to intervene when Columbia Police Department used excessive force with demonstrators.

Butler also tweeted about the incident several times.

Looking at the video Butler himself links to, however, makes it clear that the car was backing away from protesters in an attempt to get around, but the group keeps advancing until suddenly Butler rushes towards the car.

Butler has said he became a radical while attending the University of Missouri after reading the works of socialist, black liberation thinkers.

Follow investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism Boot Camp founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.


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