On October 27 2021, the Twitter account @Gritty20202 shared what looked like a screenshot of a headline, “Man waves down officer just to slap him in the face, report says”:
Based AF pic.twitter.com/whIIFaE3fU
— Gritty is the Way (@Gritty20202) October 28, 2021
On the same day, the Facebook page “Gritty2020” shared the meme. On the image, text read:
Man waves down officer just to slap him in the face, report saysMan on Beach Attacked by Killer Whale-Fiction!Man on Beach Attacked by Killer Wha...
MAN CHARGED WITH BATTERY OF POLICE
COURTESY: OUACHITA PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Comments on the Facebook post and on Twitter typically supported the actions described in the image (or asked if a GoFundMe had been established for the individual described):
“All he did was prove we live in an authoritarian police state. You get slapped, not much will happen. Officer gets slapped, that’s felony assault on an officer, apparently. Crazy thing is they qualified it by saying the slap was unprovoked, suggesting that there’s a provoked version that would’ve been an easier case to beat[.]”
“I laughed hard at this. This was dumb as hell but totally badass and I respect that a lot.”
Although neither iteration included a link to any contemporaneous news item about the described incident, KNOE (the news station whose call letters were visible in the screenshot) published an article on October 26 2021 with the headline depicted. It reported:
MONROE, La. (KNOE) – A Ouachita Parish man has been accused of slapping a Monroe police officer unprovoked. According to an arrest report, it happened in the 1800 block of Grammont Street on the night of Oct. 24 .
[Troy] Davis followed that up with, “F— the police,” as he began walking away, the officer reported.
Although the “Man waves down officer just to slap him in the face, report says” meme resembled news-like images created for humorous effect (as seen in the example above), the image was not created as a meme. It referenced a legitimate article that appeared on the website for KNOE on October 26 2021 about a then-recent incident near Monroe, Louisiana.