'After Shooting, a Twitter Hashtag Questions Portrayal of Blacks' by Tanzina Vega, NY Times

"The image of Mr. Brown that spurred the campaign on Twitter showed him with the fingers of his right hand extended in what some considered a peace sign, but which others called a gang sign. A spokeswoman for NBC News, one of the outlets that published the photograph online, said it was taken from Mr. Brown’s personal Facebook page, where it was his profile picture.
In a subsequent article about Mr. Brown’s killing, the network used a different photograph of him that showed him wearing headphones and gazing at the camera.

Tosan Tutse-Tonwe, 32, a blogger, consultant and co-founder of a nonprofit group called Act 4 Accountability, who participated in the campaign, said photographs remove context from a situation, particularly when the public is prone to thinking black men are menacing and therefore deserving of violence.

Mr. Tutse-Tonwe posted a photograph of himself wearing a T-shirt from his nonprofit and another with a black male friend who is flashing peace signs as Mr. Tutse-Tonwe gives a stern look to the camera. Mr. Tutse-Tonwe said he chose to post the photograph with his friend after the image of Mr. Brown making the same hand gesture was circulated.

'Mike was throwing up a peace sign and people thought it was a gang sign? You’ve got to be kidding me,' Mr. Tutse-Tonwe said. 'People make these leaps and there’s no basis in them and they go unchecked.'"  


Read the full article here.