Benjamin Shapiro, a 39-year-old father, husband and writer, was home with his family on Thursday night when he started receiving messages from friends. They told him that the chief of police had just displayed screenshots from his Facebook page at the Huntsville City Council meeting.
Chief Mark McMurray, while explaining the use of tear gas on Huntsville protesters, labeled Shapiro an “ANTIFA sympathizer” and “social media influencer” and said the man was “associated with multiple groups organizing demonstrations/protest.”
But Shapiro told AL.com those things weren’t true. He said he’s not an anarchist nor an antifa sympathizer. He said he hasn’t attended local protests, nor has he called for violence.
“They’re defaming my character with absolutely no evidence in a live stream city council meeting with the vaguest attempt at hiding my identity but telling everybody what city I live in,” Shapiro told AL.com.
Huntsville police had edited the photos to black out a portion of Shapiro’s face but that didn’t do enough to make him unidentifiable.