The sister of a teenage victim of a knife murder has called for an apology after a misleading photo appeared in an article online. Seventeen year old Ezekiel Clarke was murdered in a vicious knife attack, which involved an unnamed sixteen year old boy and seventeen year old Jaheim Williams. In a Mail Online Facebook article, a photo of the victim with his sister appeared next to one of the killers’ photo. Captioned “Two teenagers, aged 16 and 19, are jailed for total of 20 years for stabbing boy, 17, to death,” the post failed to distinguish between the killer and victim.
Ezekiel’s family have charged that the juxtaposition of the photos misled readers. With seventeen year old Ezekiel standing behind his sister Shimea Anderson in the photo, the victim’s family blamed Mail Online for leading readers to believe Ezekiel and Shimea were the killers. With one of the killers remaining unnamed for legal reasons, which also prohibit the publication of his photo, the wording of the caption added to readers’ confusion. While leading an anti-knife crime initiative, Ezekiel’s family have publicly discussed the impact of the photos in the article, telling how “it adds to the heartbreak we’re already going through.”
In an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham, Ezekiel’s sister, Ms. Anderson said, “The backlash from that is that me and my brother’s [photo] has been shared on social media, we’ve [had comments like] we’ve killed a white boy, we’re racist. From something that was supposed to be a positive message has been turned into something that’s really hurtful during a really hurtful period in our lives. It adds to the heartbreak we’re already going through, and I feel they need to retract the article and apologise publicly.” The article has since been updated and an online petition has been started lobbying for the newspaper to be held “accountable for racial stereotyping.”