The New York Times has come under attack for describing Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a police officer, as "no angel."
In a lengthy profile, the author John Eligon, used the description as he delved into the "problems and promise" of Brown's life.
Here's the paragraph that is raising eyebrows and criticisms:
Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life. Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police say he was caught on a security camera stealing a box of cigars, pushing the clerk of a convenience store into a display case. He lived in a community that had rough patches, and he dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar. He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.
Social media users pointed out that "no angel" is a phrase that blames the victim. Also, many felt the characterization was unfairly applied to Brown because of his race.
"No angel"- a term used exclusively to refer to rape victims and people of color killed by the police- Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) August 25, 2014
When I was Mike Brown's age, I drank, did drugs, was "no angel." But white girls aren't likely to be shot by cops the way black men are.- Xeni Jardin (@xeni) August 25, 2014
I was "no angel" as a teenager either, but somehow I didn't get killed for it: http://t.co/frl6GSGd8C- Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 25, 2014
I'll be honest: my 3 year old daughter is no angel. She can be a real brat. Still, even I would say it's wrong to summarily execute her.- Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) August 25, 2014
That @nytimes article on Michael Brown is disgraceful, and no, I'm not sharing it. Being "no angel" has nothing to do with why he is dead.- Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 25, 2014
Many felt the phrase "no angel" should have instead been applied to the officer who shot Brown.
Darren Wilson is no angel. He murdered a teenager named Mike Brown- Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) August 25, 2014
Via Huffington Post