GOP House candidate insists George Floyd killing was staged

Winnie Heartstrong, a candidate running for the St. Louis congressional seat currently held by Lacy Clay (D-MO), has pushed conspiracy theories about Floyd’s death for nearly a month on Twitter. In late May, a video featuring Heartstrong claiming that “George Floyd is alive” circulated among far-right Twitter accounts and received more than 100,000 views.

Heartstrong went further last week with a 23-page document laying out a series of incoherent conspiracy theories about Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Heartstrong insists that Floyd actually died years earlier, and that the video that shows his death is actually a bogus “deepfake” meant to stir up racial tensions…

Despite her bizarre claims, Heartstrong stands a good chance of winning the Republican primary on August 4, although she would almost certainly lose the general election. Heartstrong’s claims about Floyd have caught on with right-wing conspiracy theorists and have earned her appearances on internet radio shows, including a YouTube show hosted by conspiracy theorist David Zublick, who has more than 175,000 subscribers on the site.