On Saturday, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte and three other members of the US Swim team reported that they were robbed at gunpoint by men posing as police. Lochte said the men were ordered out of the car and onto the ground. When he wouldn’t comply, Lochte claimed a gun was held to his head to force compliance.
On Thursday, new evidence, including surveillance videos, revealed that Lochte and the other U.S. swimmers involved were not telling the truth. Lochte flew out of Brazil on Monday before his passport was revoked which would have required him to remain in the country pending an investigation. Two other swimmers were not so lucky and were detained by authorities. After the investigation and testimony by others involved, Brazilian authorities have indicted Ryan Lochte and James Feigen on charges of false reporting of a crime.
The Federal Police of Brazil contended that the men fabricated the story when in actuality, they were involved in an altercation with gas station workers after they vandalized a restroom. After leaving a party, they stopped at a gas station only to find the bathroom door locked. Some of the swimmers then pushed the door until they broke it, forcing it open.
While a guard with a gun did hold the men when he discovered what they did, video evidence show that he never drew his weapon. When a manager arrived, he asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door which they supposedly did. Involved in the incident along with Lochte and Feigen were Gunnar Bentz and Jack Congar.
Bentz and Congar boarded a plane in Brazil headed back to the United States on Wednesday but were removed from the plane by authorities before takeoff. During questioning, they revealed that the entire story was made up.
CNN reported Thursday morning that the penalty in Brazil for giving a false statement could carry up to three years in prison. The United States does have an extradition agreement with Brazil though legal experts say it is unlikely Lochte and Feigen would be extradited over this matter.
Meanwhile, people on social media have already begun claiming white privilege in the case of #LochteGate which trended on Twitter for a large part of Thursday.
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 18, 2016
white privilege is going to a foreign country, peeing on a business's floor & kicking in a door, & then saying YOU were robbed #LochteGate
— Gabe Bergado (@gabebergado) August 18, 2016
pls file this #LochteGate garbage w/the countless times in history that ppl w/racial privilege accused blk & brown ppl of committing a crime
— Wendi Muse (@MuseWendi) August 18, 2016
#LochteGate is prime example of white privilege. Go 2 a developing country, act a fool and blame some1 else. Perfect representative 4 the US
— Je Suis Akàtà (@Edges_N_Paris) August 18, 2016
Everything isn’t always necessarily about race, though in today’s world that’s where so many people always go.
None of the swimmers ever filed a police report. After a story broke claiming the men had been robbed, the International Olympic Committee denied the claim. Then, Lochte’s mother spoke with USA Today and said she spoke with her son who told her he had been robbed. Lochte then spoke to numerous media outlets and told the same story. It all snowballed from there.
Could this have been the case of one of the top swimmers in the world showing glaring immaturity by lying to his mother in order to save face from what really happened?
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) August 18, 2016
Lochte must wait now to find out what will happen to him for the lies that he told.