The phrase “hands up, don’t shoot” has been ranked as one of the biggest lies in 2015, according to the Washington Post’s annual Pinocchios list.
The popular rallying cry of the BLM movement, born in the wake of Michael Brown’s August 2014 death in Ferguson, Missouri, turned out to be a total lie. The words “don’t shoot” were first claimed to be Brown’s last words as Officer Darren Wilson shot him execution style in the back, but ballistic and DNA evidence, plus eyewitness accounts of roughly 40 witnesses prove neither was true.
In fact, forensic evidence showed that Brown went after Officer Wilson’s gun during a fight inside the police car, making it a clear-cut case of self defense.
In the end, the facts became clear: Brown wasn’t shot in the back, his hands weren’t up, and he didn’t mouth the words ‘don’t shoot,’ but the phrase stuck and remains a popular rallying cry for those drawing attention to the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers. Thus, more than a year after Brown's death, the expression made the cut for WaPo's list of four Pinocchios for 2015.