On Wednesday the BBC apologized for what they called a “poorly-phrased question” that a news anchor asked during a live interview with Darcus Howe, a community leader and writer who was commenting on the riots.
In the video clip that’s been seen close to two-million times around the world, Howe was standing in the aftermath of the riots in Croydon when BBC News anchor Fiona Armstrong asked him a loaded question. ”You are not a stranger to riots yourself I understand, are you? You have taken part in them yourself,’ the anchor asked.
”I have never taken part in a single riot. I’ve been part of demonstrations that ended up in a conflict,” Howe responded. “Stop accusing me of being a rioter and have some respect for an old West Indian Negro, because you wanted for me to get abusive. You just sound idiotic — have some respect.”
On Wednesday, the news agency began back tracking. ”We’d like to apologize for any offense that this interview has caused,” the BBC said, reports The Telegraph.
The BBC said Armstrong had no intention of showing Howe any disrespect and that the questions were intended to gauge his reaction to the events.
On Tuesday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission released initial findings of their investigation of the shooting of Mark Duggan, the north London man whose shooting by police sparked London’s riots. Duggan did not fire a shot at police officers before they killed him.