Murder downgraded to assault as BBC downplay [n word] offence in news reporting

By The Ligali Organisation | Thu 30 July 2020

The Avon and Somerset Police are treating an Afriphobic murder attempt as racially aggravated following the BBC's defence of its reporter who has been widely criticised for her unnecessary use of the [n word] describing the incident.

The social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was reporting a vicious, racist attack on a 21 year old, NHS worker in Bristol when her use of Afriphobic language occurred. A witness was recanting how after a car was deliberately driven into NHS worker and artists "K-Dogg" on his way home, two men shouted Afriphobic abuse at him including the [n word]. The initially underreported attack which happened last Wednesday left the victim with a broken leg, nose and cheekbone.

During her piece, Lamdin then announced, ‘you're about to hear highly offensive language.' At this point, Lamdin, and not the witness, then went on to explain ‘as the men ran away, they hurled racial abuse, calling him a [n word]'. The program was broadcast at 10.30am on BBC Points West and again on the BBC News Channel before being removed from circulation.

Toyin Agbetu, community educator at Ligali said “The use of the [n word] in the attack is what highlighted the Afriphobic nature of the incident, the BBC had no need, or right to repeat the offence only this time targeting its viewers. Using the same method of assault was unacceptable, there is no doubt that the [n word] is a racist label and it is always unnecessary for correspondents to repeat it especially before the watershed when children may be listening. It’s is a shame in this climate of heightened racial awareness of systemic and symbolic injustices affecting people of African heritage, the BBC has chosen to invoke harm through its use of one of the most toxic symbols worldwide.”

The BBC which has failed to apologise has setup a specific page to address complaints on this matter. It was in 2001, when the BBC Director-general Greg Dyke described the corporation as ‘hideously white’. Nineteen years later, during July 2020, its new diversity tzar June Sarpong stated the 'BBC gets a hard time but in some ways we're ahead on diversity'.

BBC reporter Fiona Lamdin uses the [n word] when reporting racist attack

BBC issues wrong and strong statement in defence

The BBC which has a history of supporting its presenters that cause gratuitous offence by using the [n word] is preparing a formal response to the numerous complaints on this issue. While it works on this it has issued a holding statement to the media;

“This was a story about a shocking unprovoked attack on a young Black man…. His family told the BBC about the racist language used by the attackers and wanted to see the full facts made public. A warning was given before this was reported.”

Agbetu continues; “While it is good that the BBC has finally decided to cover this heinous crime, it’s facetious argument i.e. ‘sorry I killed you, but I warned you in advance’ or ‘sorry I abused you but I gave you notice’ is ludicrous. The BBC defence does not make what it did acceptable by any measure. Moreover, the focus on this systematic and symbolic violence is detracting from the focus to secure justice for the horrendous physical violence committed against an African. By trivialising the use of language during the incident we now have a police investigation that is also downgrading an Afriphobic murder attempt to a spat”

Despite there being at least 15 witnesses that heard K-Dogg being called a racist name by the drivers that deliberately drove into him, Insp Lorna Dallimore has stated that the police are investigating the incident as "racially aggravated assault". Many believe the incident is far more serious. Broadcaster Henry Bonsu has shared their concerns on the social media platform Twitter;

"So you take a car, drive it into a black guy, smash him into a wall, and run off shouting racist abuse. But when @ASPolice catch up with you, you'll be charged with "racially aggravated assault" instead of attempted murder?"

The NHS Worker whose artist name is K-Dogg, is scarred for life and will require plastic surgery to his face and leg.

External Links
BBC News Presenter Uses N-Word During Morning Broadcast About Racist Attack
A BBC journalist used the N-word in a TV news report
Bristol race attack victim K-Dogg glad to be alive
BBC Complaints form re the issue
Im scarred for life: NHS worker targeted in racist hit-and-run attack in Bristol

Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites

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So you take a car, drive it into a black guy, smash him into a wall, and run off shouting racist abuse. But when @ASPolice catch up with you, you

Henry Bonsu, Broadcaster & conference host

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