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Crime

Outrage Sparked by Racist Coverage of Nia Wilson Murder

A television station chose to use a photo of the victim holding what appeared to be a gun in their coverage. 

Many are outraged by a broadcast report about the murder of Nia Wilson, an 18-year-old black woman stabbed by a white felon at a Bay Area Rapid Transit train station. Oakland station KTVU showed a photo of Wilson holding what appeared to be a gun. Wilson was in fact holding a gun shaped phone case, reports Refinery29. The photo has already been used on social media to blame Wilson for her own murder. Artist Shani Jamila says the decision to use that photo on air was a "crime upon a crime." She went on to say, "The choice to show a photo of Nia and her phone was a deliberate misrepresentation to create an automatic distancing. The image insinuates: 'Maybe she did something to deserve this.' One of the first things Nia's sister said was that we should not believe whatever media spin might emerge- in the midst of her mourning... she knew that her sister's character was likely to be maligned." Journalism experts also weighed in. "The use of the photo can be seen as an attempt to dismiss her humanity and silence those who view her death as a racially-motivated attack," said associates in a joint statement from the Robert C. Maynard Institute of the Journalism Education. Studies have shown that, when it comes to TV news coverage, black and hispanic people are overrepresented as criminals, whereas white people are overrepresented as victims.

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