A Michigan activist who took part in protesting the state government at the Capitol building last week has been deliberately misidentified as part of a larger effort by left-wing activists to spread fake news and smear those who hold conservative values.
Photos and videos have made national news in recent weeks of Michiganders gathering at the Capitol building in an effort to let Whitmer know of their disapproval of her draconian measures due to Covid-19.
One of these photos depicts an unmasked, mid-scream, yelling within inches of two masked police officers.
There have been memes and talk on social media platforms about who the man is and what he is screaming about. Many have even misidentified as the Los Angeles activist and Proud Boy, Rob Cantrall.
But the man is not from California. He is from New Hudson, Michigan, and his name is Brian Cash.
“Yes, that's me,” the 52-year-old flooring installer told the Free Press on Monday when asked to confirm whether he is the man in the photo.
Cash said he had been to four protests in Lansing within the last month, and said he was doing it in opposition to the inequities of the governor’s executive order, which he referred to as “just ridiculous.”
Cash said he was not yelling at the state troopers in the photo. “I didn’t scream in anybody’s face,” but rather at an officer positioned behind the troopers who Cash said he saw assault a woman the day before. The dispute prompted an announcement by the Michigan State Police that it was investigating the confrontation between individuals and House police.
The following day, when the now-infamous photo of him was taken, Cash said he spotted the officer in the Capitol.
“I was there chanting, 'Let us in,' and I saw that guy and I just, I just kind of lost it a little bit,” Cash said. He said that he was asking the man, whom he called a "red coat,” a reference to the red coats they wear, "if he wanted to try to throw me around like he did that girl yesterday.”
But many left-wing activists and news outlets are determined to denigrate anyone who they perceive to hold different views than themselves, and they have primarily deployed doctored photos and fake news to move their narrative forward.
Cash has been heavily criticized online by those who do not seem to know the context—and perhaps they do not wish to know the context.
“These are the same people who tell you to 'respect the police,'” one Twitter user posted.
Another posted: “Would officers show this much restraint if black men were yelling in their faces?”
Cash dispelled any so-called racist motivation behind his actions, by saying, “anybody of any color should have the right to do what I did.”
When asked how he felt about the protests, he said, “I love it. It's great,” and added that people have their “right to disagree and call me names.”
Cash said he plans to make it out to more protests in Lansing and enjoys the national attention they have garnered.
“I love it,” he said. “We got the ball rolling.”