Jail Media reports that the death in Alabama of a young black man has sparked a conversation about how to handle media reports of police violence, especially when they are racially motivated.
The story began in June when police in Alabama reported that a man named Michael Smith had died.
Smith’s family, however, said that the autopsy showed that Smith had not been the victim of a violent crime.
They said he was shot in the back.
In the aftermath, the Associated Press released a report about Smith’s death.
Smith had been arrested a month earlier on suspicion of shoplifting at a Walmart, the AP said, and police had also accused him of stealing a box of cigarettes.
After he was released from jail on a bond, Smith posted to Twitter about his death.
“I was just released from prison.
It’s over,” he wrote.
“Now I can’t even get to the grocery store.
The story was picked up by national news outlets and led to national protests.
Smith’s family and some in Alabama’s black community said he had been killed by police.
In a tweet, the family said the AP story had “made the situation worse.”
“This is why we’re here in Alabama.
#MichaelSmith, a black American who just lost his life in police custody, died because of the state of Alabama,” the tweet said.
“We don’t want to let our children down.
We’re not going to let this continue.”
In the days that followed, the hashtag #MichaelBiden was trending on Twitter.
It was trending in Alabama, where Biden was campaigning, and in places where Biden had visited during his time in office.
On social media, Biden supporters said that Smith was a brave black man who was killed by a police officer because he had tweeted about police brutality and a Walmart.
Smith died in his jail cell, the sheriff’s office said.
He was in the process of getting a court order to surrender and had been released in August, but he was still on bond.
His family said in a statement that he had tried to contact the AP, but that it was not able to reach him.
Smith, a 24-year-old from the Birmingham suburb of Decatur, had been accused of shoplifting at a Wal-Mart in Alabama in June and had not had a court date set.
He had a record of drug charges.
His family had not yet decided how to move forward, but said they were taking the time to grieve.
“The family has been through a lot,” the statement said.