George Floyd: How an incorrect image ended up on the news

Published
George Floyd, and the American Football player with the same nameImage source, Twitter/Ruth Richardson
Image caption,
Mr Floyd shared his name with a New York Jets footballer (right)

An image of the wrong George Floyd was mistakenly shown by the BBC and other broadcasters, after appearing in a photo montage at his funeral service.

The funeral for Mr Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis, took place in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.

As part of a montage, a picture of a living American footballer with the same name was shown in error.

As a result, it was broadcast on several news networks, including on the BBC's News at Ten bulletin.

The American Football player George Floyd, now aged 59, spent two seasons with the New York Jets in the US National Football League.

His image could be seen in several US networks' live broadcast of Mr Floyd's funeral, including on NBC New York's YouTube stream.

Image source, YouTube/NBC
Image caption,
The wrong image appeared during Mr Floyd's funeral

After it was seen in the BBC's News at Ten bulletin, some media outlets highlighted the use of the image.

In a statement, the BBC said: "During our report on George Floyd's funeral last night, we showed images from a montage of still photographs which had been played as part of his funeral service.

"One of the photos we used, which we had taken directly from this montage, depicted the New York Jets player George Floyd.

"We don't know why that particular image was used in the service, but we subsequently used it as part of our own coverage of the service."

The statement added: "We're still looking into exactly what happened. The BBC would never seek to cause any offence."

Media caption,
George Floyd's niece: 'This is not just murder, but a hate crime'

The funeral of Mr Floyd, whose death in police custody has spawned global outrage, was marked by impassioned pleas for racial justice.

Mr Floyd died in Minneapolis last month after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His final moments were filmed on mobile phones, and the officer has been charged with second-degree murder.

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