Sinclair TV News stations used 2016 photo of Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson's arrest to illustrate unrelated 2017 crime stories - iMediaEthics
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(Credit: Twitter)

Two Sinclair Broadcasting-owned TV news stations used a photo of Black Lives Matters activist Deray McKesson being arrested during a protest last year with stories about unrelated crimes. By pairing a photo of a man being arrested with these crime stories, the two news outlets erred by suggesting that McKesson was involved in those crimes. The photo of McKesson’s arrest was from a protest last year in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Idaho CBS-affiliate KBOI 2 News used the image of McKesson to illustrate an Associated Press story about an attempted bank robbery. Oregon ABC-affiliate KATU News slapped the photo on an Associated Press report about a wounded Baton Rouge police officer who is suing Black Lives Matter and McKesson after being wounded in an ambush last year. The photos were posted in now-deleted tweets; iMediaEthics contacted both stations to ask if the inaccurate photo was on the stories themselves and how the error occurred. A spokesperson for Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting, the parent company for both, declined to comment on the record.

McKesson complained, tweeting to one of the stations, KATU, that “this pic is from when I was arrested on 7.9 at a protest that night. The ofc referenced was wounded on 7.17. There’s no link.” The KATU story currently features several photos including a picture of McKesson speaking at an event. We’ve contacted McKesson to ask if he is satisfied with the station’s response to the error.

Both outlets have apologized on Twitter. KBOI 2 News tweeted, “We messed up. We mistakenly tweeted a photo of @deray with an unrelated story link about a bank robbery. We are KBOI are very sorry.”

KATU tweeted, “We apologize for the confusion, we didn’t know this photo was from a different day. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

In response to KBOI’s apology, McKesson tweeted,  “I appreciate the retraction, @KBOITV. I still don’t know how the image was chosen in the first place.”

Earlier this month, Sinclair Broadcasting was the subject of an HBO John Oliver segment focused on its conservative perspective.

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Sinclair TV News stations used 2016 photo of Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson’s arrest to illustrate unrelated 2017 crime stories

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