Idaho news station apologizes for using photo of Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson in unrelated bank robbery story

KBOI erroneous DeRay tweet
A screenshot of KBOI’s erroneous tweet. KBOI/Twitter

An local CBS news affiliate in Idaho has issued a public apology to Black Lives Matter activist and educator DeRay McKesson after the station used a photo of McKesson in an unrelated story about a bank robbery.

Screenshots of tweets that the news station KBOI sent on Friday night showed an image of McKesson underneath the headline, “Would-be robber arrives early at banks to find doors locked.”

The accompanying image of McKesson, an activist and former Baltimore mayoral candidate, was taken during a July 2016 protest in New Orleans.

McKesson shared the erroneous tweet with the caption: “I haven’t been anywhere near a bank robbery. FYI.”

KBOI later apologised in a tweet: “We messed up. We mistakenly tweeted a photo of @deray with an unrelated story link about a bank robbery. We at KBOI are very sorry.”

Another story on the station’s website showed a different picture of McKesson at the same New Orleans rally with the headline, “Officer wounded in deadly ambush sues Black Lives Matter.” The photo was later changed.

McKesson supporters lashed out at the station for the error.

The Washington Post used a similar image of McKesson for its reporting on that story in which it said an unidentified policeman accused Black Lives Matter leaders, McKesson, Johnnetta Elzie, and three other people of “inciting and encouraging violence” at its demonstrations.

The officer pointed to a July 2016 shooting in Baton Rouge in which US Marine sergeant Gavin Long opened fire on police officers, killing three and injuring three others. The unidentified policeman was reportedly left disabled after being shot multiple times in the ambush.