Oakland television station KTVU continues to face criticism for using a photo of murder victim Nia Wilson that appeared to show her holding a gun, just hours after she was killed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit subway station.
On Thursday evening, several dozen people protested outside the Fox affiliate demanding action over the photo, the station reported.
“[We wish] for someone to come out and be accountable for the displacement and defamation of character and we wish to impose agendas and policies that is a reflection of the community,” said family spokesperson and Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B.
Roughly 60 people marched through the streets of #oakland.
Protesting an insensitive photo that #KTVU showed of 18-year-old Nia Wilson on Monday. #BayArea rapper @MistahFAB spoke on the families behalf. #JusticeforNiaWilson More at six. pic.twitter.com/zwSa5CNdZR
— Paul Chambers (@PaulChambersTV) July 27, 2018
During a story about the protest, KTVU reporter Paul Chambers said the photo “only aired once in our noon newscast and KTVU apologized.”
Wilson, an 18-year-old African-American woman, was stabbed to death by a white man while waiting at a BART station on Sunday, July 22.
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On Monday, KTVU aired a picture that showed Wilson holding a pistol-shaped cell phone case, which drew condemnation on social media, from members of the community and from journalism groups.
Earlier this week, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Bay Area Black Journalists Association and the Maynard Institute (a group dedicated to accuracy in the news media) released a joint statement condemning the station’s “improper use” of the photo, which was taken from Wilson’s Facebook page.
“Use of this photo violated one of journalism’s core ethics: ‘do no harm,’ as it implied Ms. Wilson was dangerous,” the groups said in a statement. “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. It was also in violation of copyright laws.”
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Actresses Anne Hathaway, Viola Davis and Sophia Bush also spoke out about Wilson’s death.
Hathaway posted a message on Instagram about the role white people play in violence against African-Americans.
“White people- including me, including you- must take into the marrow of our privileged bones the truth that ALL black people fear for their lives DAILY in America and have done so for GENERATIONS,” Hathaway wrote. “White people DO NOT have equivalence for this fear of violence.”
Davis took to Twitter to say she’s tired of violence against black people.
“At what point will it stop? I’m getting tired of the heartbreak,” Davis tweeted. “Tired of needing to organize rally’s to convince people that our lives matter.”
You know…..at what point will it stop? I'm getting tired of the heartbreak. Tired of needing to organize rally's to convince people that our lives matter. To the killer…I will NOT say your name. To Nia…we will shout yours from the rooftops!!! pic.twitter.com/2i03JfCQgS
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 25, 2018
“She could’ve been you. She could’ve been me. She is us,” Bush added in a powerful Instagram post. “Violence against women is a societal issue that is all of ours. And violence against women of color needs to be called out by ALL of us. Nia Wilson was murdered by a white supremacist on parole.”
The day after Wilson and her sister, 26-year-old Latifah Wilson, were slashed in the neck, police arrested convicted felon John Lee Cowell, 27. He’s been charged with murder and attempted murder.
BART police say the stabbings appeared to be random, but parents of the two victims believe the crimes were racially motivated.