NAACP Criticizes CNN For Erroneous Boston Arrest Report

Says problem was not just that it was wrong, but that it was "potentially racially inflammatory."
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The NAACP said Thursday it was concerned with CNN's erroneous report Wednesday (April 17) that law enforcement officials had a "dark-skinned male" in custody in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing.

John King responded in a tweet Thursday that he was responsible for reporting that description, but that he was no racist.

NAACP saw the problem as two-fold. The report turned out to be wrong, but also that CNN used "an overly-broad, unhelpful and potentially racially inflammatory categorization to describe the potential suspect," said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. "History teaches us that too often people of color are unfairly targeted in the aftermath of acts of terrorism," he said.

The group asked CNN and others to use caution and "weigh the implications" of such characterizations.

CNN said it had reported the arrest based on multiple sources. "CNN had three credible sources on both local and federal levels," the CNN statement read. "Based on this information we reported our findings. As soon as our sources came to us with new information we adjusted our reporting."

In a tweet Thursday, CNN anchor/reporter John King said: "Source of that description was a senior government official. And I asked, are you sure? But I'm responsible. What I am not is racist."