How #iftheygunnedmedown drew media into Michael Brown furore

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By Chris Harris
How #iftheygunnedmedown drew media into Michael Brown furore

The media has been dragged into protests over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in the US.

CJ Lawrence, a criminal defence lawyer, took to Twitter to highlight what pictures media were using of Michael Brown, 18, who died in St Louis, Missouri, following a struggle with police on Saturday (August 9).

One was of Brown listening to music, the other of him in a sports shirt making what some have suggested is a gang sign with his hands.

Lawrence, who seemingly perceived the media were choosing to use the sports photo over the other, began what became a hugely-popular trending topic.

He posted a tweet with two pictures – one of him graduating, the other in a less favourable light with a bottle of alcohol in his hand. He then asked which picture the media would use if he was shot dead, spawning the hashtag #iftheygunnedmedown

The hastag has been tweeted 160,000 times, double the popularity, at the time of writing, of #RobinWilliamsWillLiveOnForever

How the popularity spread…