On May 22, 2020, TMZ shared a video of Denzel Washington, an unidentified individual and several police officers.
The interaction is reported to have taken place in Los Angeles on May 21.
But in light of recent events making national headlines, the video has gained traction on Twitter. Numerous individuals shared the clip on the social media platform with a variety of comments and speculated scenarios of what happened.
On May 28, former NBA player Rex Chapman shared it with the caption:
"Denzel Washington saw a commotion in West Hollywood with cops and an unarmed distressed homeless man."
"He got out of his car and served as a barrier between the man and the police—helping to diffuse a tense situation. This man was arrested safely.🌎❤️"
It turned out Chapman's version of events was inaccurate.
Details revealed later established that Washington arrived first and the police arrived later for a wellness check on the individual. While they were initially handcuffed, once the individual was deemed safe, they were released from police supervision.
Beforfe those details came out, Chapman's comments received pushback.
Another video posted a week later by Moneyshot Photography (@MoPhoPix)—an amateur paparazzi clearing house—featured a discussion with a police Sergeant shortly after the events of the original video.
In it LAPD Sergeant Mackie (sp?) provided details that USA TODAY confirmed with a representative for Denzel Washington.
The Sergeant stated Washington was driving and spotted the man in the road. The award winning actor stopped to help the man get over to the sidewalk.
A passerby called police.
When LAPD personnel arrived:
"We intervened, spoke with the individual and determined that he did not want to harm himself or others, and he was on his way, and Denzel left."
"Denzel provided him a mask to protect himself from the environment and that was good. So Denzel helped us today."
An LAPD spokesperson would not comment further on the incident.
Despite the lack of details, people praised Washington for stopping to help the man.
People had some words of praise for the LAPD Sergeant willing to answer questions as well.
No additional details are available at this time, but what is known is welcome at a time when relations between the public and law enforcement have reached explosive levels in more than one city in the United States.