NPR was forced to add an editor’s note Sunday after bungling an article detailing attacks by “right-wing extremists” against protesters.
The publication reported that there have been “at least 50 vehicle-ramming incidents since protests against police violence erupted nationwide in late May.” The article continued on to include quotes from experts about “right-wing extremists” using vehicles as weapons, and NPR added a photograph showing a protester being hit with a car.
NPR’s choice of photo, however, appeared to be one of the incidents that was not carried out by a right-wing extremist. The publication added an editor’s note, updated the photo and included a second tweet explaining the bungle. NPR’s tweet pointed out that the original picture “does not appear to be an example of the assaults described in the story, and has been replaced.”
“A previous version of this story included a photo of a protester being struck by a car in Louisville, Kentucky,” NPR added in an editor’s note to the article. “The photo, chosen by editors, does not appear to be an example of the assaults described in the story, and has been replaced. Police have not charged the driver, but have charged two of the protesters involved in that incident. Authorities continue to investigate.”
Of the “at least 50 vehicle-ramming incident,” 18 have been deemed to be deliberate, NPR reported, citing a count from terrorism researcher Ari Weil, who works at the University of Chicago’s Chicago Project on Security and Threats. Included in the 20 people who are being prosecuted for the attacks is the Virginia KKK leader, NPR reported.
“The message they’re trying to send is, ‘You need to get out of the street and stop these protests,'” Weil said according to NPR. “They’re trying to intimidate the most recent wave of BLM protesters, to stop their movement.”