NBC News gets it wrong again with image of social unrest in Baltimore

What will it take for NBC's news division to handle emotionally charged images responsibly?

NBC News struck again this week in misusing an image from the social unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

On Tuesday, NBC's "Today" show aired a report on reaction in Charleston, S.C., to a mistrial in the shooting of Walter Scott with an image from Baltimore in April 2015. The mistrial was declared Monday in the murder trial of Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Scott in April 2015.

The Baltimore image aired during a report on "Today" that said: "The mayor of Charleston, community leaders and South Carolina's governor are urging a calm response to that ruling."

The image was not identified as actually showing community response from a different event in a different city in a different year.

That might seem mind-blowingly slip-shod, but it was actually the second time this year that NBC News incorrectly used images from the social unrest here in 2015 following Gray's death.

In June, just before a verdict was announced in the trial of one of the officers involved in Gray's death, MSNBC ran a HAPPENING NOW banner over video of rioting that actually took place in April 2015. NBC's Ron Mott was the correspondent for that report.

NBC News declined comment at the time for my report on that gaffe. Read that here.

NBC News took down video of its bad Charleston report with an editor's note that said: "This video erroneously included an image from an event not related to the Scott trial, and has been removed."

An NBC spokeswoman said in an email to The Sun that "Today" will make an "on-air correction and apology" Thursday.

For the record, the photo accompanying this post was taken on April 22, 2015, in Baltimore by Patrick Semansky for the Associated Press.

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