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Why labelling Michael Brown 'no angel' touched a nerve

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Posted at 11:10 AM, Aug 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-26 11:10:45-04

The New York Times is standing behind a profile of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen killed after being shot six times by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, that referred to him as "no angel."

It seems an innocent enough descriptor, if not for the context — that Brown was unarmed and shot six times by a white officer in a town rife with racial tension.

Many readers found the Times' portrayal of Brown inappropriate, considering it came on the day of his funeral and seemed to impugn his character based on the actions of his youth.

The profile also referenced Brown's affinity for rap music, something Vanity Fair called, the "racially charged version of blaming video games for Columbine."

One consistent theme in the outcry since Brown's death is the accusation that the media treats black and white youths differently.

To learn more about the Times' coverage and resulting criticism, watch this Newsy video.