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New York Times' Michael Brown article provoked uproar on social media

A New York Times article detailing the life of slain Ferguson, Missouri, teen Michael Brown said the teen was "no angel," and has shifted the conversation about Brown's death.
Chandra Johnson, Deseret News Modified: August 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm •  Published: August 27, 2014

Eighteen-year-old slain Michael Brown, whose death has ignited violent protests and rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, was "no angel," according to a profile in the New York Times — a comment that has caused renewed furor on Twitter.

Times writer John Eligon justified his comment about Brown, who was shot multiple times and killed after a scuffle with a police officer, amid details that Brown had been involved in shoplifting cigars, lived in "a community that had rough patches," and had dabbled in writing rap music.

As the Daily Dot reported, Twitter users erupted in angry response to the article.

"Brown trying drugs/alcohol, shoplifting or rapping (!) does not mean 'he was no angel.' It means he was a teenager," Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti tweeted.

The Times' Margaret Sullivan defended Eligon in a post Monday afternoon, though she did call Eligon's phrasing "ill-chosen."

Eligon told Sullivan that the phrase was his attempt to giver readers a multi-dimensional look into Brown's life beyond his death.

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