Amber Alert didn’t go off in Depp v Heard trial

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The judge presiding over the libel trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard said the cellphone alarms that interrupted the pleadings were an ‘Amber Alert’ warning of a child in danger, a claim that immediately began spreading on Twitter . But the ringing was actually a warning sent by the National Weather Service of Fairfax County, Va., where the trial took place.

“An AMBER Alert interrupted Amber Heard’s closing argument – you can’t make this stuff up. Think the universe is on point with this one,” reads a tweet from May 27, 2022, posted at 11:58 a.m. (EST) – Attached is a clip of Heard’s attorney, Benjamin Rottenborn, delivering a closing statement on behalf of his client the same day in a defamation lawsuit initiated by Depp, which is being streamed live across all platforms since the trial began on April 11.

A screenshot of a tweet taken on May 27, 2022

Other tweets have also shared the claim – here and here – in hopes the child is safe – as an ‘Amber Alert’ is triggered as part of an emergency system when a minor appears to be endangered, missing or abducted. .

The claim quickly gained traction on social media, and the ‘Amber Alert’ was seen on Twitter at the end of a high-profile lawsuit that sparked a wave of social media vitriol, much of it directed against Heard.

But the Fairfax County Public Affairs Department and the National Weather Service confirmed to AFP that the alarms heard in court were weather alerts for the area.

Final arguments took place on May 27 in the defamation case between Depp and his ex-wife after a six-week trial with scathing domestic violence charges on both sides.

A few minutes before noon, repetitive bells are heard in the courtroom.

We then hear Judge Penney Azcarate, who is in charge of the proceedings in the case, say: “There seems to be an Amber Alert. But I think it’s okay. People get it, I guess, on their phone .”

But the judge misspoke. There was no “Amber Alert” in the area on May 27.

Instead, alarms heard on the live stream and in court were sent by the National Weather Service.

“A tornado warning was issued from our office for part of Fairfax County at 11:54 a.m. today,” Chris Strong, senior liaison officer for the Baltimore/Washington regional office of the National Weather Service, told AFP. .

Crystal Santos, public information officer for the Fairfax County Public Affairs Department, also confirmed to AFP: “The weather alert was a wireless emergency alert from the National Weather Service. It was not not an Amber Alert, which comes from the state police for things like missing persons.”

The seven-person jury retired later in the day to consider a verdict in the high-profile case.

Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the high-profile trial, witnessed by hundreds of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star’s fans and accompanied by a popular #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media.

AFP Fact Check has previously denied other claims about the blockbuster trial, here and here.

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